Two boys in California, aged 11 and 14, were brutally killed Saturday morning when a group of armed assailants opened fire on them. The children were seated in a van in the parking lot of an elementary school when an unknown number of assailants fired into their vehicle.
The murders occurred at Searles Elementary School in Union City, which is roughly 30 miles southeast of San Francisco.
It’s unclear what, exactly, prompted the murders. Gunshots were reported to police around 1:30 AM Saturday morning. When police arrived on the scene, they rushed the children to the hospital. The 14-year-old died at the scene of the crime, while the 11-year-old died while on the way to the hospital. Both children’s names are being withheld due to their young age.
Classmates of the children were understandably shaken by the violence. One mother told local news outlets that her son didn’t understand what, exactly, had happened. She stated that her son is now afraid to go outside, fearing for his own safety. “How do you just kill kids?” the mother asked, incredulous and deeply saddened by the senseless violence.
At present, the police have made no arrests in the case. At the time of this writing, there is no clear motive in the murders. Police have not ruled out gang violence as a potential source of the attack, nor have they ruled out a connection to a shooting from Wednesday that left two men dead.
How two young children could have gotten mixed up in gang activity, or simply caught in crossfire, is anyone’s guess.
The police also clarified that the shooting likely had little to do with the elementary school the shooting took place in. Locals apparently often use the secluded parking lot as a place to gather, as it is far from major roads and well-concealed by its surroundings. This, in turn, could further reinforce the theory that gang violence could be to blame in the attacks.
Classmates of the two children and their parents held a small memorial for the boys on Saturday. Police are investigating evidence from the crime scene to determine who was responsible for the killings.