SALEM, Ore.–It was just the day before the gunfire broke out in Bush’s Pasture Park that killed 16 year old Jose Vazquez Valenzuela.

Salem Police Chief Trevor Womack said, “We’re talking about shootings occurring in our city.”

And Mayor Chris Hoy, also spoke to people at the East Salem Community Center.  “We know that those impacted are also young have a history of participating in or being impacted by violence, and have limited access to pro social support systems. The scale and scope of this problem, and the knowledge we have about who is impacted and involved, provide us with an important opportunity to interrupt this behavior.”

Salem Police say now the community should feel safer and that there should be justice, because the 16-year-old shooting suspect, Nathaniel Shante McRae Jr., turned himself in to police with a parent by his side.

Gunshots also injured 15 year old Damien Esquivel Soto and 16 year old Roberto Munoz Soto.

It all fits in with Salem’s trend, says Womack.  “The rise in shootings and violent crime in Salem is affecting everybody at some level. For sure. And violence resulting in the loss of life or serious physical or emotional injury in our community.”

Salem Police released this statement Sunday:

“We understand that neighbors in the south central neighborhood area, which includes Bush’s Pasture Park and South Salem High School, may have safety concerns given last week’s tragic shooting. The suspect’s arrest late Friday brings some safety and reassurance to our community and is the first step in bringing justice to the victims and their families.

Now the focus is on ensuring campus and student safety this week. Salem Police is working with the school district to coordinate additional resources and presence in and around the neighborhood schools and the overall area this week.

As always, we encourage neighbors to call 9-1-1 when witnessing in-progress crime or suspicious activity. Please remember that we take all reports of threats on the school campus seriously. If you or your child become aware of such a threat, you can call police (503-588-6123) or submit a tip through Safe Oregon by phone or text to 844-472-3367, or via e-mail at [email protected].  “

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