Relatives said a man who was gunned down on Irene Street Tuesday night was mentally ill and never bothered anyone as he strolled the east Bakersfield neighborhood.
Bobbie Hawkins said her son, Telon Hester, was shot shortly after they left a recycling business that was closed. Hawkins went to a relative's house on King Street and Hester went to look for more cans, Hawkins said. She was at the house with a friend when she heard three gunshots.
"When I came, I didn't see nothing but my son just laying there," Hawkins said. She said she stayed at the other end of the street because she couldn't bear to go closer to her son.
Hawkins said Hester's death comes just about three weeks after her other son, Donte Hester, died. Hawkins and her sister, Carolyn Cooper, said Donte Hester was shot about a year and a half ago in the same neighborhood where his brother was killed, resulting in health complications. Hawkins said the shootings were not connected as far as she knew.
"Ain't too much I can do, you know, but try to be strong," Hawkins said.
The Kern County Sheriff's Department was called to the 700 block of Irene Street for a report of a victim of a shooting just before 5 p.m., sheriff's department spokesman Ray Pruitt said.
Deputies found Telon Hester, 33, lying in the road with major injuries from several gunshot wounds, deputies said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Detectives are investigating the shooting as a homicide and were looking for witnesses Tuesday night, Pruitt said.
"At this point we don't know or have a motive for the shooting," Pruitt said. Deputies did not have any suspects and did not know if the killing was gang-related, he added.
Hester lived in an apartment on Knotts Street with his mother and other family members, according to Hawkins. She asked neighbors to look out for Hester because he had a mental problem, Hawkins said. He would get out in the street and "yell and holler" and talk to himself, his mother recalled, but she said he didn't have problems with anyone.
"He just stayed at his house (and) looked for cans," Hawkins said.
Kern County Superior Court records list more than a dozen cases under Telon Hester's name and year of birth. The court records showed Hester had been convicted of charges including obstructing/resisting a public officer, peace officer or emergency medical technician, failure to register as a sex offender and possession of a controlled substance. ..Source.. by Bakersfield.com