STOCKTON (CBS13) — The shooting death of a 17-year-old at a park Tuesday afternoon marked the 55th homicide this year in Stockton.

Police Chief Eric Jones spoke with CBS13 Wednesday about the surge of violence in the city. He says when the community works together, it helps maintain safety.

“For every homicide, there’s a family grieving. For every homicide, it’s a human life taken. And just to recognize the humanity of it and what can our community-based organizations, and clergy, and other groups, nonprofits, to come together and do for a sense of shared public safety,” Chief Jones said.

Out of the 55 homicides, the chief says 15 are domestic violence-related, but the more recent homicides involve youth including two 15-year-olds killed in separate shootings and a 17-year-old killed on Tuesday. Most of the homicide victims, the chief said, are between 20 and 30 years old.

“Any homicide is one too many in our community,” Jones said. “We’ve definitely been seeing a spike this year, but at least if we can give the family and our community some closure around making an arrest, that at least gives justice to the family.”

READ ALSO: Second 15-Year-Old Gunned Down In Stockton Within Two Weeks

Two people were arrested Wednesday in connection to the triple shooting at Sandman Park. Detectives arrested 35-year-old Raymond Mendez in connection to the shooting. Another man, 37-year-old Gilbert Mendez, was also arrested on suspicion of being an accessory, police said. Police confirmed both men are related.

Police say the 27-year-old shooting victim was in critical condition while the 21-year-old is in stable condition.

Last week, the San Joaquin County District attorney released a statement in regard to the recent surge of violence, “This must stop now and it will only stop when each of us works with law enforcement to find the drivers of violence.”

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By Richard Moran

Richard Moran loves to write about sports with the Golden State Online. Before that, he worked as a senior writer at ESPN. Richard grew up in San Diego and graduated from the University of San Diego in 2004, after which he worked as an editor for five years.

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