14 people wounded in shooting at Bakersfield house party

Three young men who were told to leave a Bakersfield house party returned early Saturday morning and opened fire into a crowd of more than 100 teenagers, injuring 14 people, authorities said.   

The shooting occurred about 1 a.m. in the 600 block of Stephens Drive and left two people in critical condition,  said Ray Pruitt, a spokesman for the Kern County Sheriff’s Department. All of the victims are expected to survive.

Pruitt described the suspects as black males between the ages of 16 and 19, but he said that as of Saturday night, no arrests had been made. 

A girl who lives at the home where the shooting occurred was given permission to throw a party by her parents and promoted the party on social media, Pruitt said.

“At some point, people who were not invited showed up,” he said. The party swelled to at least 150 revelers and “at some point, it got out of control,” Pruitt added.

Authorities believe a verbal confrontation took place between two different groups in the backyard of the house, and several people were told to leave the party.

“They did leave, and we believe it was those individuals who left the party that came back and opened fire on the crowd,” Pruitt said, adding that investigators believe the shooting was gang-related.

The sheriff’s department said the incident was initially believed to be a drive-by shooting, but Pruitt said investigators now believe the three males got out of a vehicle, walked up to the crowd outside the home and opened fire before fleeing in the vehicle.

Authorities also believe that at least one person in the crowd returned fire.

Pruitt said his department does not have a description of the vehicle, and deputies have been having difficulty getting victims and witnesses to identify the shooters.