San Jose residents meet over recent shooting

November 10, 2009 11:59:05 PM PST
Parents feel outraged and afraid about a vicious attack on two children. Parents gathered at a community meeting to talk about a Halloween night assault on two innocent trick-or-treaters.

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Hundreds of people packed the cafeteria at Lee Mathson Middle School on Tuesday evening. It was an emotional night partly because the two victims are students here.

"We are not going to do that is San Jose. We're not going to give up on this neighborhood, we are not going to give up on any neighborhood," said San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed.

He is called for action. At a community meeting, the goal was to point the battered East San Jose neighborhood in a new direction.

"What do families need to do to keep their children safe?" said Dwainy Rosas-Romero, a San Jose resident.

Parents are at a loss, after the Halloween night attack on two boys who were trick-or-treating off Story Road. There is surveillance video of a stabbed 13-year-old running for help after his 12-year-old friend had been shot in the head. Four people have been arrested and all are Surenos gang members.

"There was no rhyme or reason behind it, this wasn't a gang hit, this wasn't a set against a set, these were just two kids in the wrong place approached by gang members," said Mario Maciel, from San Jose's gang prevention task force.

Police laid to rest the rumor that the boys were attacked because of their Nike Cortez shoes, which are sometimes worn by Norteno gang members.

"The issue of the shoes was not a driving force behind this incident," said San Jose Police Cpt. Ernie Alcantar.

The community worked together to find out what they could do. They brainstormed ways to reach out to youth. Parents were assigned to break out groups, where they discussed their neighborhood problems and possible solutions.

"I just feel they need to provide more programs, after school programs, day care, especially day care," said one resident.

The ones impacted most are optimistic that change is coming.

"I hope it does work to the point where you're allowed to walk where ever you want," said Andrea Andrade, an eighth grader.

The city will take all of the feedback from the night's meeting and come up with an action plan. That will be presented to neighborhood association groups next month.

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