"My choices and decisions, they caught up to me one day. I got shot in the back three times," said Nate Snyder, a former gang member. A year ago, he made a life-changing decision to get out of gangs, and get into a program, that helped him make the right decisions.
"They took the blinders off of me and I could actually see my own future where I need to be going." A future that includes college, a fiance and fatherhood.
Mayor Kevin Johnson said Snyder is a living testament of how community can come together, and make positive change.
"Sacramento can be ahead of the problem and create an environment where we're not known for gang banging anymore, but we're know for creating opportunity for our young people," the mayor said Tuesday, at the Boys and Girls Club, where he held a press conference on a new plan on preventing gang violence.
A gang prevention task force formed last year, in the wake of a brutal shooting outside of a Sacramento County barber shop that killed a young mother. The force is implementing the new game plan.
"You gotta start young. If you don't start young, it's too late. People's minds are made up," Snyder said.
And that's just part of the master plan, to reach out to young kids at the schools, before the gangs reach them.
"Hopefully we can stop this nonesense in our area, 'cause it really destroys families tremendously," said Richard Nelson, whose sister, Monique, was killed outside of the barber shop.
"It's completely destroyed our family. We never thought gang violence could touch us like that, 'cause we really weren't around that kind of environment," he said.
That plan includes officers reaching out more to the community, job development programs and regional collaboration between agencies. Nate Snyder is hopeful that the plan will work.
"Don't get down on yourself. It's not about where you from, where you been or where you at. It's about where you going to," Snyder added.