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City leaders, community members react to latest homicide in Lompoc

The Lompoc community continues mourning the loss of Saturday night’s shooting victim.

“It breaks my heart that stuff like this is going on and that families are losing loved ones,” said Matthew Baron, founder of a new neighborhood watch group called Guardian Angels.

“I do want to say to the families affected by this violence, that I’m sorry and I’m very saddened by it,” said Lompoc City Mayor Jenelle Osborne.

Three victims were shot on Saturday night, one of them dying in the hospital.

“For me personally, it’s been a disappointment that we haven’t been more proactive about investing in our community, and in particular, our public safety departments sooner,” said Osborne.

The mayor said she worries the recent uptick in crime will paint an inaccurate picture of Lompoc as a whole.

“We are not a violent community, we are not a unwelcoming community,” she said.

As police investigate the latest homicide, the city is placing a sales tax measure on the March ballot that could give officers more resources.

“It will be able to be utilized for public safety,” said Osborne.

In the meantime, Baron is organizing a neighborhood watch.

“Our long term goal here in Lompoc is to recruit able-bodied people, train people and then be able to send them out,” he said.

Baron said the Lompoc Guardian Angels will be an unarmed group of volunteers patrolling the streets.

“The tick, tick, tick, of people dying is the reason why I’m here. And this most recent, unfortunate murder, I mean, that’s the worst news you could possibly hear,” he said.

The Guardian Angels are having their first meeting on Saturday, October 19, from 1 p.m – 4p.m.

The City of Lompoc says it is not affiliated with the group.

For more information, contact the Lompoc Guardian Angels by email.

KEYT 2019

Article Topic Follows: Crime & Courts

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