Sadness, anger over 2 boys shot to death in Union City

UNION CITY, Calif. (KGO) -- Police in Union City are seeking help from the public as they investigate why two boys, ages 11 and 14, were shot to death in a van early Saturday morning.

Disbelief grows in the Decoto district of Union City that two boys could be shot and killed in a parking lot outside an elementary school.

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

Friends and classmates of the 11-year-old and the 14-year-old have been paying their respects at a growing memorial, lined with candles. The boys' parents have asked police not to identify them.

No one seems to know why the boys were at the schoolyard inside this van shortly after 1 A.M. on Saturday, but that doesn't temper the anger of long-time residents.

"If these kids were out, there was a reason or whatever reason it is, it doesn't give the killer a right to just shoot at anybody because they're outside at the wrong time," said Catherine Jaimes, a long-time Decoto district resident who raised four children there.

A man at the memorial identified himself as the father of the 14-year-old. He had little to say about the incident. Police say there is no gang activity in the Decoto district, but they haven't ruled out a possible gang connection.

A childhood friend said the older boy enjoyed playing soccer and football and was always cheerful. With no leads, police are hoping someone has a clue why the boys were killed.

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

"We're hoping that open lines of communication, our trust with our community, our ability to communicate with people in that neighborhood is going to help us do that," said Union City Police Lt. Steve Mendez. "We're in this together."

The father of the 14-year-old was sitting by himself, grieving with tears in his eye. At one point, he raised his voice when he asked rhetorically, 'do you know how difficult it's going to be to spend Thanksgiving alone?'
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