San Diego

Escondido Police Hold Community Meeting to Discuss Gang Violence in City

Escondido police held a community meeting Thursday evening to discuss gang violence in the city and what they are doing to combat the problem.

The meeting came just weeks after an Escondido woman was killed during a gang shooting.

Catherine Kennedy, 55, was driving east on Grand Avenue on March 7 when she was hit by a stray bullet. She lost control of her vehicle and crashed into a parked vehicle. 

Police said a 24-year-old man opened fire after seeing a rival gang writing graffiti on their "turf". He was accompanied by a 16-year-old male, also arrested in connection to the shooting.

A stray bullet struck Kennedy, killing her.

Following Kennedy's death, residents told NBC 7 that gang violence has been an issue in their city for years.

Now, Escondido Police is hoping to find a solution to the issue.

"It fluctuates a little bit but for the most part it's consistent. and I have to tell you, that frustrates me to no end," said Escondido Police Chief, Craig Carter.

"I hope that the community can take away information on how to better make Escondido safer," said Laurie Hauf, with the North County Escondido Gang Commission.

Hauf said the meeting also included a portion where the community could offer their feedback as well.

There are around 450 gang members in Escondido alone, and about 800 associates. They make up four gangs.

escondido high school is hosting the "Peace Begins with ME Youth Festival" on Saturday starting at noon. 
that will take place at Grape Day Park
reporting live from escondido, ashley matthews nbc 7. 

Escondido High School is hosting the "Peace Begins with ME Youth Festival" Saturday, at 12 p.m.  It will take place at Grape Day Park in Escondido.

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