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Teen arrested in connection with fatal shooting of 15-year-old at Montclair mall

The parking lot of a shopping mall with threes around.
A 15-year-old boy was fatally shot and another teen was injured Feb. 2 in the parking lot of the Montclair Place mall.
(KTLA-TV Channel 5)
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A 17-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of fatally shooting a 15-year-old boy last week at the Montclair Place shopping center, according to police.

The shooting was reported Feb. 2 at about 8:10 p.m. in the parking lot of Montclair Place, according to Montclair Police Sgt. Andy Graziano.

A 15-year-old was found with injuries and taken to a trauma center, where he died, Graziano said. A 17-year-old boy was hospitalized for stabbing injuries in the same incident and was expected to survive.

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A 17-year-old boy from Pomona was arrested two days after the shooting on suspicion of murder, being a felon in possession of a firearm and a gang enhancement, according to a Montclair Police Department news release.

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The suspect was on probation for a previous firearm possession case, authorities said.

The San Bernardino County district attorney’s office is prosecuting the case.

Family members identified the 15-year-old victim as Omar Espinoza, a student at Diamond Ranch High School in Pomona.

Espinoza was at the mall with a friend and the friend’s mother, buying a birthday present for his 9-year-old sister, according to his godmother, Cynthia Jimenez. Espinoza had been approached by a group of teenagers that included the accused shooter, and they got into an altercation.

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Espinoza and his friend were walking to the Target near the mall to meet the friend’s mother when they were attacked, Jimenez said. Espinoza’s friend was hospitalized with stabbing injuries.

“He was just such a sweet kid,” Jimenez said of Espinoza. “He liked playing soccer. He was part of a dance group for many years with his twin brother. His circle of friends was far and wide. He had a beautiful smile that could light up a room.”

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