The House Party Where 12 People Got Shot

When two young men started shooting during a late-night Fresno house party on Saturday, November 28, 2009 over rival tagging crew disputes, twelve people became wounded. In an article by The Fresno Bee, Police Chief Jerry Dyer noted this has been “the most wounded in a single shooting incident in Fresno in recent memory.” Here, youth from The kNOw express their concerns about the incident, and the need for more positive things for teens to do.

A Bad Teen Adventure
It’s 2AM on an early Saturday morning. I’m probably online, wishing I had something more exciting to do, a party, a sleepover, I don’t know, an adventure I will remember. As a teenager, I am at the prime of taking risks and exploring opportunities in life. I am the type of person who loves the feeling of adrenaline and excitement. Like other youth, I want to explore. But when I heard about the recent house party where 12 people got shot, I was angry. The two shooters put the lives of 80 other people at risk.

I think the two individuals must have been insecure about something. I don’t see why they should carry guns. It might make them feel proud, but it creates danger for those around them. There is a reason why it is necessary to have a license to own a gun. Gun owners need to have responsibility, but these two individuals did not.
-“Aurora”, 17


No Fun In Danger
The news petrified me when I heard about the 12 people who got shot at a local house party. What makes this worse was that teenagers were involved in this matter. It shows that some youth are willing to take a risk to attend a late-night house party, instead of wanting to build a healthier community for them and others.

I wonder why some teenagers would be so desperate to go to some house party knowing they are putting themselves at possible danger. I understand if the party had been supervised, but this wasn’t. There are so many other safer things to do, like throwing a BBQ and inviting friends over. You can have as much fun and be safer. It’s ridiculous to have shootings at a place where people are supposed to have fun.
-Dasen, 18


But My Friends Are Going Too!
Teenagers and parties are nothing new in Fresno. Neither are party crews and tragic endings that come as a price to neighborhoods and local party fanatics. Why do teens go to parties like this? It’s as a simple as wanting to have fun. This is normal for teenagers because I like to have fun, but just in a different way.

Most of the kids who end up going to late parties go because friends go. And when friends go, they feel safe and don’t think about the dangers that could become reality. Some go and don’t plan to stay for a very long time, yet on several occasions, these house parties are unpredictable and anything could happen at any given time. Parents play a factor as well because teens go to parties sometimes because they know they won’t get caught. Some parents are too loose with their kids and do not give them enough guidance to know danger.
-Miguel, 17


Bad Choices
After hearing about the house party shooting, I ask, why? Were they bored? Do they have a life? Why would you go to a house party with a gun? Were they ready to do this before they left the house? Do they just want to cause trouble? I think they are dumb. If not that, then they have no confidence in themselves. If they did, they wouldn’t have made these choices.

From my experience, no one wants to lose someone, and no one wants their loved ones to land in jail or be on the run. Was it stupidity or peer pressure? I assume they probably thought they were on top of the world. But when that world comes tumbling down, the regret and guilt will be on them.
-Yee Leng, 16


Fear Of Guns
I feel sad because the shooting should have never happened in the first place, especially over tagging issues. This stuff is getting to the point where you can’t go anywhere without the fear of getting shot. The house party was a way for youth to have fun because there really isn’t much to do these days unless you have money. So youth throw parties to have fun.

I hope and believe that the people who threw the party didn’t plan for any of the shooting to happen. These gangs, whether it is a tagging gang or not, should keep their problems to themselves and not take it to places where there are innocent people. I hope the ones who did the shooting turn themselves in.

This incident reminds me of something that happened while I was visiting one of my uncles on the west side. I was sitting outside with my family, when suddenly we heard a yellow Cadillac drive by the house across the street. The driver stared at us while the backseat and passenger started shooting at the house across the street, then it sped off. The first thing I did was drop straight to the ground so I wouldn’t get hurt. My mom did the same thing. When we got up, we heard people crying and screaming. Police cars and ambulance showed up. Then a man carried a woman out of the front door covered in blood and was screaming for help saying that the lady had been hit and she was pregnant. Three young children came out crying. I found out later that the drive-by shooting happened because of a drug deal that went bad.

This all makes me wonder why some adults and some youth use guns to handle their problems. I wonder how the youth get the guns. I have many more questions for adults and youth, but it hurts me to see how the youth are making it harder for other youth, and adults aren’t realizing that youth are following their lead.
-Chanda, 21

The kNOw Youth Media
The kNOw works to support and equip young people with the journalism and advocacy skills they need to tell their stories and the stories of their communities.

In 2006, over 25 youth began participating in weekly after-school writing workshops where they congregated in the hallway of a two-story building in West Fresno and learned the essentials of creating media and telling their stories. The group evolved over the next five years and is now proudly recognized as The kNOw Youth Media.

Through our program, we create opportunities for our youth participants, who in turn create long-term positive change in their communities. Our approach weaves youth development and youth media innovation to produce our biannual youth publication, multimedia projects, and community forums.

The kNOw began as a project of New America Media, which was the country’s first and largest national collaboration and advocate of 2000 ethnic news organizations. In 2018 The kNOw became a project of Youth Leadership Institute.

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