UNION CITY (CBS SF) — Home surveillance video shows the terrifying moments two boys – aged 11 and 14 – were gunned down in the parking lot of a Union City elementary school early Saturday morning.
The boys were shot while sitting in a minivan just before 1:30 a.m. Saturday at Searles Elementary School on the 1800 block of Sherman Drive, according to Union City police.
The two boys were confronted by suspects who shot into their vehicle multiple times, according to police. The 14-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene and the 11-year-old died on the way to a hospital, police said.
The surveillance video from a nearby home’s security camera captured the shooting and shows two vehicles in the parking lot. As one starts to drive away, flashes of gunfire begin, more than 20 shots in all.
The shooter then gets back into a car and drives away. The entire exchange lasted only 40 seconds.
McKenzie Norman, whose home security camera captured the shooting, was shocked by what she saw on video. “Just knowing that it was right across from my house and you can actually see it in the footage made me really in shock and nervous now,” said Norman.
According to sources close to the investigation, detectives believe one of the boys drove the minivan to the school parking lot. What they don’t know is why.
“We don’t know what they were doing out there at 1:30 in the morning, and we haven’t ruled out that this is gang related, but we haven’t verified it yet either,” said Union City Police Lt. Steve Mendez.
Mendez said investigators have a copy of the surveillance video and are doing their best to identify the shooter or shooters as well as the getaway vehicle.
“Extremely heinous,” said Mendez. “I’ve never personally in my 30 years ever seen something like this.”
New Haven Unified School District Superintendent John Thompson said in a statement that one of the boys was a student who currently attended a school in the district and the other was a former student in the district.
The district’s schools are on their Thanksgiving break this week but Thompson said there will be support for students and staff at the sites where the boys had attended when school resumes next week.
“We also work closely with Union City police to ensure that our schools are as safe as they can be,” the superintendent said.
Police were also investigating whether the shooting is connected to a case earlier last week in which two men were shot near the intersection of Eighth and C streets in Union City at about 12:30 a.m. Wednesday.
The two men were treated for their injuries and released.
Mendez said Monday that police were set to release the names of the two juveniles who were killed but family members of one of the victims said Sunday that they didn’t want the names to be released at this time.
He said the family of the other victim hasn’t been in touch with police.
A website to raise money for the boys’ funeral expenses identifies them as Kevin and Sean but doesn’t list their last names.
Mariana Ramos, who set up the site, wrote, “Kevin and Sean’s family were not expecting this tragedy to happen. Friends are very upset and we all wonder why this has happened to our loved ones.”
“Why us? Why them!? They were only 11 and 14, they didn’t get the chance to see life ahead of them because some cruel people don’t have hearts,” she wrote.
The site at https://www.gofundme.com/f/5qdva-funeral-expenses seeks $15,000 and had raised $1,254 as of Monday afternoon.
A second website at https://www.gofundme.com/f/funeral-expenses-for-sean-withington set up specifically for the family of the victim named Sean had raised $1,340 of its $6,000 goal as of Monday afternoon.
The site says, “Our beloved Sean was murdered in cold blood in a parking lot at Searles Elementary School in Union City. He was only 14 years old and obviously had his whole life ahead of him.”
“Our lives have been left in shambles as a result, and we are all reeling in a deeply unresolved pain place,” the site says.
Katie Nielsen contributed to this report.
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