Residents react after two Southern Humboldt homicides
SOUTHERN HUMBOLDT- Two homicides in just four days have occurred in an area Southern Humboldt residents have nicknamed “Murder Mountain”.
“That was referred to from the early 1970s when a murder happened up there and it's kind of carried forward,” said local resident Michelle Bushnell.
It’s reputation for lawlessness has even kept some from visiting the area.
“It's pretty serious out there,” said local resident Tallon Scott. “That's one of those places that you don't go out there unless you have a reason to or you know someone out there.”
Although the area is notorious for crime, residents say these murders are part of a much larger problem: a lack of 24-hour law enforcement coverage.
Locals of towns like Garberville and Redway have severely felt the effects of the lack of coverage, encountering incidents of violent crime and misbehavior almost every day.
“There's a lot of things going on both during the day and at night that requires some law enforcement presence and it's not here and this just goes to show that we needed more officers,” said Cinnamon Paula, Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce.
Despite a town hall meeting with the sheriff’s department at the end of June, according to residents coverage hasn’t improved and they still don’t feel safe.
“I can't count on my local law enforcement to help me if I need it,” Bushnell said.
While the recent shootings did occur outside of Garberville, residents say it is only a matter of time before something similar occurs within the town.
“I'm not afraid of getting shot on the street but I think the violence, obviously it's getting worse and if they don't get control of it, it can trickle anywhere,” Bushnell said.
While the suspect of the first shooting is now in custody, residents say without 24-hour law enforcement coverage they still cannot sleep easy.
“It definitely puts people on edge, you know, if it can happen there it can happen here and we're all part of a small community, everybody kind of knows everybody so a loss is a loss,” Paula said.