Two boys, ages 14 and 11, died from wounds suffered when someone let loose a fusillade of gunfire on a minivan they were in at a California elementary school, police said.
The double homicide occurred about 1:30 a.m. on Saturday in a parking lot of Searles Elementary School in Union City, a Bay Area town about 26 miles south of Oakland, police said.
Investigators were working Sunday to identify a suspect or suspects in the shooting that left nearby residents stunned.
“It’s obviously terrible and horrific for the families. Man, prayers go out,” Cameron Lopez, who lives near the school, told ABC station KGO-TV in San Francisco. “It wasn’t just 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.”
Union City police officers rushed to the school after receiving numerous reports of gunfire.
They found the two boys gravely wounded in the bullet-riddled minivan in a parking lot on the west side of the school, police said.
Police released a photograph of the parking lot littered with shell casings.
The older victim died at the scene, while the younger boy was taken to a hospital where he died from his wounds, police said.
“The motive behind why they were there, what lead them to that particular location and what led the suspects to come into contact, is still under investigation,” Lt. Steve Mendez of the Union City Police Department told KGO.
The names of the victims were not released.
Investigators are probing whether the shooting is gang-related, according to a statement from the Union City Police Department.
Police are also investigating if the killings are connected to a shooting that left two men wounded early Wednesday in Union City, officials said.
“Although there is no evidence to show that these two incidents are linked, investigators have not ruled out that possibility,” according to the police statement.
John Thompson, superintendent of the New Haven Unified School District, said in a statement that neither victim attended Searles Elementary School, although one was enrolled in another school in the district.
Police are asking for the public’s help.
“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,” Mendez said.