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Investigation continues in case of 14 people shot at house party

A Kern County deputy is seen Saturday, July 16, 2016, on Stephens Drive in Bakersfield, Calif., hours after a shooting wounded 14 people at a house party. (KBAK/KBFX photo)

Kern County detectives have been going nonstop in their investigation of a shooting that left 14 people with wounds at a house party early Saturday morning.

"We're using every mechanism that we can to identify the suspects and try to make arrests," said Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood. "We believe that this is gang related."

Investigators are searching for three suspects, two of which fired point-blank into a crowd that was dispersing. Fourteen were shot at the party on Stephens Drive, but all are expected to survive.

Detectives are running into problems.

"We don't have a lot of cooperative witnesses, " Youngblood said. "Anytime you have what we believe is a gang-related shooting, gangs tend to not want to tell on other gangs, and that creates a tremendous problem for law enforcement."

The shooting happened after a fight had broken out at the party and one group was told to leave. But the three suspects returned as the crowd was dispersing and opened fire. Someone in the crowd returned fire. The suspects fled.

"You don't just shoot into a crowd of people with the intent to just scare or hurt people. You have the intent to kill people," said Youngblood.

The parents who live at the home, Alicea and Jesse Wallace, said they were throwing a party for their teenage daughter and wanted just a few of her friends there. But the party was posted on social media, and the couple never expected a large crowd to show up. Alicea Wallace has been apologetic to the victims and their families.

"I'm sorry for what happened to the kids that was here last night. I'm very sorry! My heart goes out to every mother, every child. My heart goes out to you!" said Wallace over the weekend. "My prayers are with you and your family."

Her husband was also wounded, as a bullet grazed his head.

Officials are also looking into the possibility that an adult may have provided alcohol to the teens attending the party.

People can report information about this case anonymously by calling the Secret Witness hotline at (661) 322-4040.

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