Police Thursday continued their search for at least two suspects who fled in a vehicle following a shooting in Long Beach that left a 12-year-old boy dead and a 14-year-old girl wounded.
Officers were sent to the 2200 block of Lewis Avenue, between Martin Luther King Jr. and Orange avenues, at about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to the Long Beach Police Department.
Eric Gregory Brown III of Long Beach died at a hospital, police said. The wounded girl was treated at a hospital for a non-life-threatening wound to her lower body, police said.
According to police, Eric, the 14-year-old girl and a 13-year-old girl were walking on the sidewalk when a vehicle approached them, occupied by at least two males.
“An unknown number of suspect(s) shot at the victims,” police said in a statement.
No description was released of the vehicle or suspects. The younger girl was not injured, police said. Police increased patrols in the area after the shooting.
“The shooting that took place last night is absolutely devastating,” LBPD Chief Wally Hebeish said in a statement. “A young boy’s life has been cut short due to an intolerable act of gun violence. While we mourn this loss as a community, our officers will not stop working to locate and arrest those responsible for this tragedy.”
Neighbors told Fox 11 that investigators canvassed home surveillance cameras to help identify the suspect’s vehicle.
“It’s kind of crazy. I just heard the shots and five minutes later, the whole block was blocked off,” a neighbor who wished to remain anonymous told Fox11.
The wounded 14-year-old girl is now at home, NBC4 reported. Her father, David Chen, said she was shot in the leg.
“She was lucky that it didn’t hit the bone,” he told reporters.
Eric’s friends and relatives gathered Wednesday outside a relative’s apartment to mourn him and light candles, in a vigil that was attended by city officials and some of the boy’s classmates from Jackson Middle School, the Long Beach Post reported.
“I got calls that I was on the five o’clock news,” Eric’s grandmother Cynthia Johnson said, according to the LB Post. “I hope the shooters saw me. I mean, who kills kids?”
Council members Suely Saro and Al Austin and representatives from Long Beach Mayor Rex Richardson’s office also attended the vigil.
A GoFundMe account established for the boy’s family had raised more than $14,500 as of Thursday afternoon. The account was established by LaQuioa Joseph, whose cousin Angela Washington was Eric’s mother.
“He was just a baby in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Joseph wrote on the Gofundme page. “Eric was the 2nd of 5 children leaving behind his mother, his siblings and a host of family and lots of friends. Eric will be remembered for his loving smile and his dance moves. Unfortunately as a single mother Angela was not prepared to have to bury her son. Eric left a void in the family and will be forever missed.”
The GoFundMe account may be found at www.gofundme.com/f/in-support-of-the-burial-of-eric-brown.
Anyone with information on the Long Beach shooting was urged to call Dets. Michael Hubbard or Jesus Espinoza at 562-570-7244, or Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Tipsters may also use the website www.lacrimestoppers.org.