Authorities are asking for the public's assistance in finding the killer of a 12-year-old boy who died in a hail of bullets as he and a cousin walked to a convenience store in San Bernardino, Calif, the Associated Press reports.
The boys—Jason Spears, 12, and Terrance Spears, 14—were reportedly walking to the store around 10 p.m. Sunday when a person fired repeatedly from a dark SUV. Jason was killed, but his cousin survived and was released from the hospital Monday, the newswire notes. Police had recently stepped up patrols in the area because of an increase in gang activity.
Jason's aunt Shaunte Spears said that neither of the boys was involved in a gang.
"We sit at our house. We talk to our neighbors. That's it," she told the Riverside Press-Enterprise, according to AP. "Now my sister has to bury her 12-year-old son. For what? Because he went to the store to get some chips?"
Authorities have vowed to find whoever is responsible.
"We're going to pull out all the stops in order to determine who these individuals are," Police Lt. Rich Lawhead said.
After the shooting, both boys managed to run a block to the store, but Jason collapsed outside and died. Terrance limped inside to get help.
"I seen the other little boy go inside limping because he was shot in the leg and the other one collapsed right here on his jaw," Elisa Castro, who was at the store to rent a video, told the San Bernardino Sun, AP notes.
"I turned him over and was telling him, 'Please baby boy, breathe,' " Castro said. "I just don't understand why they would do this."
Read more at Talking Points Memo.