Witnesses reluctant to come forward in shooting that wounded 2

Witnesses reluctant to come forward in shooting that wounded 2 »Play Video
Kamari Cotton-Moya (File)
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — Though there were as many as 100 people at a party recently in east Bakersfield, sheriff's investigators have yet to find someone who can, or is willing to identify the person who shot and wounded two innocent guests at the party.

"We received numerous 911 calls that shots were fired in the 2200 block of Edwards Street," said Kern County Sheriff's spokesman Ray Pruitt.

At around 12:30 a.m. on May 19, a large crowd was present at the party. An altercation broke out among two groups and then shots rang out.

People scattered. The shots wound up striking two young men who were getting into their car, said Pruitt. One victim was 18-year-old Kamari Cotton-Moya, a standout football player from Ridgeview High School who recently signed with Iowa State University. The other victim was fellow athlete 18-year-old Kolin Jones. Both were treated and released from Kern Medical Center.

"It's not unusual that in serious crimes you have victims and witnesses that are afraid to come forward and cooperate," said Kern County Assistant District Attorney Scott Spielman.

"Perhaps (witnesses) live in the same neighborhood as the perpetrator or they're just fearful in general because it was a violent crime," said Spielman.

Neighbors on Edwards Street were also reluctant to talk publicly about what happened that night. But they described a street full of cars and people when the shots rang out.

Investigators are hoping someone is willing to come forward to provide information. no matter how insignificant it might seem, to law enforcement. And a person can remain anonymous.

People can either call Secret Witness at (661) 322-4040 or send a text message to the anonymous tip line at TIP 411 or 847-411.

In serious cases, a witness and family can be relocated said Spielman.

"A lot of times in these types of cases, it's just a little bit of information that helps us solve a case," said Pruitt.