Neighbors and business owners are concerned about recent crime near one of San Diego's most iconic beachfronts.
The pandemic shuttered Rosemary Sanchez's jewelry business, so she took her business outdoors. She's been setting up her vendor table in front of the Mission Beach boardwalk for over two years now.
"It keeps me in my home," said Sanchez.
Business at the beach has helped relieve Sanchez of her economic concerns but she says recently it’s also created new ones.
"Shootings, there’s been shootings," said Sanchez.
She says a spike in violence in the area has become her top concern.
"I think about coming sometimes,” said Sanchez. “I actually use to stay out here past 5 o’clock but now at 3 o’clock I’m packed and gone."
Last Sunday, the area directly behind Sanchez's setup near Belmont Park was blocked off by police while they investigated a shooting. Then on Thursday night, it was the same scene.
Last September there were two more shootings reported in the same area, including one that injured a vendor who was close to finishing up for the day.
"The beach should be a place where everyone in the city should be able to come to with their families and feel safe and enjoy the beach," said Larry Webb, president of the Mission Beach Town Council.
Webb has lived in the neighborhood for nearly 40 years. He says he’s never seen a spike in violence in the area quite like this one. His neighbor Tim Sanfelize agrees.
"It's become sort of a place where people come down here and think they can do whatever they want,” said Sanfelize, a six-year resident of Mission Beach.
Last year, San Diego police increased their presence in the area and enhanced lighting near Belmont Park. Still, the violence continues, rocking people to the core.
"Not only is this a community where people can come and visit but this is also a neighborhood,” said Sanfelize.
Vendors and neighbors agreed the area needs more police patrols. NBC 7 reached out to the San Diego Police Department and they told us they were doing just that.
SDPS says they are assigning officers to the Belmont Park area seven days a week, which neighbors hope will help return the peace to their neighborhood.