Union City police search for suspects in fatal shooting of 2 young boys

UNION CITY, Calif. (KGO) -- Neighbors in Union City are mourning the loss of two young boys, ages 14 and 11, who were fatally shot early Saturday morning in the parking lot of Searles Elementary School. These are the city's first homicides of the year.

"It's obviously terrible and horrific for the families. Man, prayers go out," says Cameron Lopez, who lives near the school, which is situated in the middle of the neighborhood.

ORIGINAL REPORT: Boys, ages 11 and 14, killed in shooting near Union City elementary school: Police

Multiple callers reported hearing gunshots around 1:30 a.m. near Sherman and Colgate Drives, according to the Union City Police Department.

"It wasn't just a like a few fireworks that usually go off in this neighborhood, which they like to do here. It was a very long, drawn-out range of shots," explains Lopez.

When police arrived on scene, they found the two boys in a parked minivan suffering from gunshots wounds. Police say the 14-year-old died on scene. The 11-year-old died on the way to the hospital. The victims' names will not be released due to their age.

"The motive behind why they were there, what lead them to that particular location and what lead the suspects to come into contact, is still under investigation," says Lt. Steve Mendez with Union City Police.

Family and friends arrived at the school to setup a makeshift memorial, as crime scene investigators collected several shell casings, hoping to determine the type of weapons used.

Superintendent John Thompson of the New Haven Unified School District says no students from Searles Elementary School were involved in the incident.

"One victim was a student who attended school within the district. The other victim was a former New Haven Unified student," the district's statement said.

"How do you just kill kids?" says one mom, who didn't want to be identified. She says her son went to school with one of the boys. "I don't think he has quite grasped this yet. He is afraid to go outside."

Lieutenant Mendez says community involvement will be critical in solving this case.

"We rely on our community to be our eyes and ears in situations like this, so their part, their role in this is extremely important," he says.

There are no suspects in custody, says Lt. Mendez, but adds that police haven't ruled out the possibility that this may have been gang-related. Union City police are also investigating if this incident is linked to another shooting in the same neighborhood that happened on Nov. 20.

There will be support for students and staff on the campuses where these students attended when school resumes after the Thanksgiving break, the district said.

Anyone with information about the incident was asked to call the Union City Police Department at 510-675-5227.
Copyright © 2021 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.