Police in Lompoc are investigating multiple shootings that happened in just the past few days.
While investigators work to solve these crimes, the victims' family members are grappling with what happened.
"My brother, Marcelino, he was a loving, caring human being," Juanita Chavarin told KSBY News on Thursday.
Family members of 46-year-old Marcelino Madrigal are trying to wrap their heads around the loss of their loved one.
A lifelong Lompoc resident, his siblings say they're going to miss how he always made everyone laugh.
"He just had an outgoing personality and that's what I'm going to miss about my brother," said Juan Carlos Madrigal.
In less than 48 hours this week, there have been three separate shootings.
"It keeps me up at night. I am torn apart by what continues to happen to us," said Lompoc Mayor Jenelle Osborne.
The first shooting happened on Monday in the alley between N and O streets. A 17-year-old was shot.
Madrigal was shot and killed on Wednesday morning in the Santa Ynez Riverbed.
Hours later, on W. Laurel Ave., a boy was shot while waiting for food from a taco truck.
"We believe that 12-year-old was not the intended victim and happened to be a bystander in the area," said Sgt. Vincent Magallon, Lompoc Police Department.
The boy was flown to a trauma center and at last check, police say he was alert and in stable condition.
"I have a 12-year-old myself so I can only imagine how it would be for that mother or parent to be informed of their child to be shot," Sgt. Magallon said. "We always say we'll do our best to figure out what happened."
Lompoc has been short police officers for a while now.
Mayor Osborne says funding to fully staff the department was approved but it's been a difficult path.
She says in June 2020, $300,000 was budgeted to restore three positions. The city currently has 40 of 47 approved positions filled.
"I have long supported not only the need to better invest in our public safety department but in youth activities and change in our community," Osborne said. "Unfortunately, you didn't have a council majority that was focused on that and when you slowly tear something apart, it takes a long time to rebuild it and that's what you're seeing."
A recent sales tax and cannabis tax revenue were meant to generate extra funds for the city but instead, have gone to cover the General Fund which has been dwindling during the pandemic.
Mayor Osborne says the impact of poverty on the community needs to be addressed through pathways to successful careers. She adds that new ideas and additional partnerships, but with limited funding during the era of COVID-19, also need to be discussed moving forward.
"No one deserves to live in fear. No one deserves to be uncomfortable in their own homes and we, the council, the city, we need to do better," Osborne said.
The suspects involved in all three shootings are still outstanding. Anyone with information about these crimes is urged to contact the Lompoc Police Department at (805) 736-2341 or via the police department's mobile app.
Madrigal's family has set up a Gofundme account to help pay for funeral expenses.