UNION CITY (CBS SF) — Two teenagers were arrested and a cache of weapons and drugs seized in the shooting deaths two boys gunned down in a Union City elementary school parking lot in November, authorities announced Friday.
Union City police said 18-year-old Jason Cornejo, of Castro Valley, was being held on two counts of homicide with gang enhancements. A 17-year-old from Hayward was also arrested but his identity was not released because he is a juvenile.
“My heart goes out to the families of the victims,” said Union City Police Chief Rinetti. “These were children who were murdered, and even though we cannot change the past or reverse this tragedy, I am relieved that we were able to control the outcome of this investigation with the arrest and charging of a dangerous gang members.
The two were already in custody. They were arrested after Union City police, Alameda County Sheriff’s deputies, Hayward police, Oakland police, Richmond police and Fremont police executed a series of search warrants in six locations on Feb. 6th. Those raids netted about 40 lbs. of marijuana, 8 lbs. of methamphetamine, over $10,000 in cash, 2 handguns, 3 assault weapons and several high capacity magazines.
Authorities said other pieces of evidence related to the double murder was also uncovered.
On Saturday November 23 at 1:26 a.m., Union City police said they received multiple 911 calls from citizens reporting gun shots heard in the area of Sherman and Colgate Drive in Union City.
Officers responded to the area and located two male victims who had suffered gunshot wounds in a parking lot of Searles Elementary School.
One 14-year-old victim, Sean Withington of Union City, was pronounced deceased at the scene. The second victim, 11-year-old Kevin Hernandez of Union City, was pronounced deceased while in route to a local trauma center.
“Sean and his friend Kevin were sitting in his mom’s van in the parking lot,” said Rinetti. “At that time, suspects entered the parking lot, pulled near Sean and Kevin and then opened fire. Gunning down both Sean and Kevin.”
Rinetti said 32 investigators from various law enforcement departments were involved in the case.
“These investigators were able to gather enough evidence from advance investigative techniques, electronic and physical surveillance and community tips and other sources to identify both suspects in the double murder,” Rinetti said.
Union City police Capt. Travis Souza added that the killings had a “gang overtone” but would not get into the motive behind the shooting. The suspects “were involved with a criminal street gang.”