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Two boys, 11 and 14, shot dead while sitting alone in school parking lot, police say

Two boys, ages 11 and 14, were shot and killed while sitting inside a parked van at Searles Elementary School in Union City.
Two boys, ages 11 and 14, were shot and killed while sitting inside a parked van at Searles Elementary School in Union City.
(Los Angeles Times)

Two boys, ages 11 and 14, were shot to death while they sat alone in a van parked at a Bay Area elementary school over the weekend, authorities said.

Union City police received calls just before 1:30 a.m. Saturday about a shooting in the parking lot of Searles Elementary School in the 1800 block of Sherman Drive. When they arrived, they found the two boys inside a gray van riddled with bullet holes.

The 14-year-old died at the scene, and the 11-year-old died en route to a local trauma center, authorities said.

Investigators think the children, who were good friends, had been sitting alone in the van for some time and were not waiting for a parent or adult, Lt. Steve Mendez said.

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Officers collected video surveillance but could not gather much information because the school parking lot is poorly lit, Mendez said. Investigators think one person opened fire on the van while the boys sat inside.

Union City police are investigating after two boys were shot inside a van parked in an elementary school parking lot.
Union City police are investigating after two boys were shot inside a van parked in an elementary school parking lot.
(Union City Police Department)

It’s unclear whether the boys were left at the school or they drove themselves there. They were not students at Searles Elementary, authorities said, and the school had been closed for the holidays as of Friday.

The boys’ parents have asked not to be publicly identified.

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“They are extremely distraught,” Mendez said. “We are trying to get more information from them ... in hopes we can come up with some answers.”

Police are investigating whether another shooting a few days earlier is related. About 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, two men were shot near 8th and C streets. Both were treated at a nearby hospital and released.

The two shootings are unusual for the community, Mendez said.

“This is exceptionally difficult for our community. It’s not something that happens here often,” he said. “We’re really doing our best to bring these guys to justice. We’re hoping our community helps us so we can all heal.”

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call the Union City Police Department anonymously at (510) 675-5207.


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