12-year-old shot on Halloween

November 2, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
A 12-year-old boy is in grave condition after being shot in the head Halloween night. Police say he and his 13-year-old friend were out trick-or-treating when they encountered suspected gang members. The attack happened in East San Jose near Story Road and Hopkins Drive.

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"The boy [was] laying down there and after I called police, a lot of kids [came] over to see what happened," says Lam Nguyen, a witness.

Nguyen says it was just after 10 p.m. on Halloween when he saw a 12-year-old boy lying motionless in a strip mall parking lot on Story Road. San Jose police say the boy was out with his 13-year-old friend trick-or-treating, when suspected gang members shot him in the head.

"Frightened of course. Especially a young kid lying down like that is very scary. I feel sorry for the kid," says Nguyen.

Nguyen is the owner of PK Market and Liquors, where the 13-year-old boy ran in for help. That boy ended up being stabbed, but he's expected to be okay.

The 12-year-old boy, meanwhile, remains in grave condition. Both had been wearing costumes and carrying candy at the time of the attack. Investigators say while they believe the suspects are gang members, they believe the young victims are not.

"There was no indication that there was an argument. There were some words exchanged and the incident, the violence took place," says San Jose Police Sgt. Ronnie Lopez.

Folks who live near the Sunset Gardens Plaza Shopping Center in East San Jose are in shock. They've heard or seen gang-related violence before, but not when the victims are so young.

"Most of the time when you hear children getting attacked it's like a ricochet. It's like a mistake or an accident," says San Jose resident Crystal Martinez.

"As old as they are, 12 and [13]? Yeah that's too young," says San Jose resident Pearl Martinez.

Members of the mayor's gang task force have been talking to people in the neighborhood in hopes of generating leads. Anyone with information is urged to call San Jose police.

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