Reporting Anjali Hemphill
STOCKTON (CBS13) – Residents in Stockton are demanding answers following a murder at a halfway house in their neighborhood — claiming they had no idea that recovering addicts were living in the home.
Residents are wondering how a halfway house suddenly moved into their neighborhood in the 440 block of West Flora Street, and about the fatal shooting of resident Terrence Willis about a week later.
“I think that the city needs to not put halfway houses without the neighbors knowing,” said one resident.
The landlord tells CBS13 he was leasing the home to several men who are part of a sober living program. But Willis’ family says no one was supervising the residents.
“Somebody should have been here to make sure they took their medications,” a family member of Willis said.
According to the California Association of Addiction Recovery Resources, there is no law that requires transitional group homes to register with the state, and the city says a group home does not need to meet any requirements if there are six or fewer people living at the house.
“There’s nobody around there to help them out. The (landlord is) just trying to make some money off it,” neighbor Alarick Von Boemer said.
Neighbors say Willis was acting erratic Saturday morning and police believe he confronted his neighbor who shot him — possibly in self defense.
“The guy was just really intimidating. His hands started to come up like he was gonna do something,” said one neighbor.
No one was arrested and the other men who live at the halfway house are back at the home just two days later.
Willis’ family is heartbroken he died in an environment where he was supposed to be getting help.
“He was happy here. He just wanted some friends,” a family member said. “Why’d you have to shoot to kill?”
Charges have not been filed against the man who shot Willis. The case has been turned over to the district attorney.