Vigil held following death at Teichert Ponds – Chico Enterprise-Record

CHICO — Prior to the Chico City Council meeting Tuesday night, a vigil was held in honor of a man killed at Teichert Ponds over the weekend.

Guy Steven Vanzant, 53, of Chico died following what advocates for Chico’s homeless have called an attack from “teenagers” in the early hours Saturday.

The incident was first reported to the Chico Police Department at 2:28 a.m., according to a news release. While Chico police have not released any further details on the death, local advocates have been vocal about Saturday morning’s shooting.

Advocate Chris Nelson, who said she spoke with people living at Teichert Ponds, said while people were sleeping a group of people described as teenagers arrived and began pointing guns attached with green laser pointers at campers. Before shooting, the group began hurling obscenities at campers and calling them “tweakers,” according to Nelson.

Chico police have confirmed two campers at Teichert Ponds were shot, including Vanzant and a second unnamed person who police said Wednesday was being treated for injuries at Enloe Medical Center.

Speaking to a gathered crowd during the vigil, Nelson said violence against homeless people has only increased in recent years.

“A huge injustice has been done and things have really escalated in our town. The hatred expressed by this City Council on the unhoused people in our town has now caused murder,” Nelson said. “It’s our responsibility, in every way possible, to step up and stop this hatred.”

The death of Vanzant continued to cast a dark shadow over the first City Council meeting in over a month, with multiple public speakers addressing the council on the death.

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“I want to encourage everyone to take a moment to reflect on the fact that the life of a loving grandfather, father and family man, Guy Steven Vanzant has been lost due to a very brutal hate crime this past weekend,” said Chico resident Robyn Engel while addressing the council.

Chico police declined to comment further on the investigation.


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