By Renée Santos

STOCKTON (CBS13) — It’s been a deadly year in Stockton, with the city seeing a surge in shootings.

Police say there have been 53 homicides so far, a huge jump from 2019, and the year isn’t over yet.

The most recent shooting happened Monday night, leaving an 18-year-old man dead. Family and friends of the victim are hurting following a deadly shooting at a Walmart parking lot in Stockton.

Numbers from the Stockton Police Department show there have been 53 homicides this year compared to 32 homicides around this time last year. That’s nearly a 66% increase.

READ: Stockton Police Shoot Armed Man, Dwight Morgan, During Confrontation

“It makes me wake up earlier and put my game face on because it sucks, it’s sad to hear these things and how preventable it could have been,” said Lavell Jackson.

John Norman is CEO of Raising Youth Resilience.

“I think we start to really address what we have at hand without issues as far as trauma and hurt. Hurt people tend to hurt people,” he said.

Norman mentors Stockton youth and says one way to stop the violence starts with engaging kids and their parents as early as second grade, then following up with consistency.

“We need to now hear and listen and focus on their experience and allow them to paint the picture of their way out,” Norman said.

As for the young man shot and killed at a time when violence keeps rising, people in Stockton are thankful for the help that is available but say more is always needed.

Police are still working to identify a suspect and motive in that shooting.

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