As Sacramento police investigate shooting, community comes together to grieve and call for change
The news that a car filled with teenagers on its way to a high school football game was riddled with bullets last week, leaving one dead, both gutted and galvanized a Sacramento community already weary of violence.
Grant High School senior Jaulon Clavo, 17, was behind the wheel of a compact sedan last Friday afternoon, driving his teammates to a division playoff game they would not play. Gunfire flooded the console, critically wounding him and front passenger Malik Johnson. Both youths were transported to local hospitals, but only Johnson survived.
Community members reacted with both despair and resolve.
Sacramento Area Congregations Together organized a march for this past Tuesday evening to call for reinstatement of the city's Ceasefire program, which lost its funding in 2013 and was replaced with the Sacramento Police Department's Cops & Clergy program. In a statement released by Sacramento ACT, For His Glory Church co-pastor Sistah Pat Roundtree Rivers said the shooting made it clear that “change has to happen.”
“Our kids need to be able to grow up safe, play sports, enjoy hanging out with friends on a Friday night without being in danger of losing their life,” Rivers added.
In a statement on his Facebook page, Mayor Kevin Johnson urged Del Paso Heights residents to cooperate with investigators “to ensure that whoever did this is brought to justice.” The Roberts Family Development Center, an after-school program, put up $3,500 to find the assailant. The city recently established a Gang Prevention and Intervention Task Force that had been Johnson’s goal for more than four years.
It’s unknown whether last week’s shooting was gang-related. Police haven't identified any suspects or motive in the November 13 ambush, and don't know whether the gunfire erupted from individuals on foot or in a separate vehicle.
Meanwhile, some solace was taken from the unassuming generosity of Kings center DeMarcus Cousins. Councilman Rick Jennings outed Cousins for extending a private offer to Clavo's family to pay for the funeral service. Clavo’s Pacer teammates, meanwhile, triumphed over Modesto during their rescheduled playoff game on Monday night.