Youth, 17, charged with murder in infant's death

Police call Sunday's triple-shooting in East Palo Alto a case of mistaken identity

Two teenage boys, a 17-year-old and a 16-year-old, have been arrested, one charged with murder in connection with the fatal shooting at 12:50 a.m. Sunday of a 3-month-old boy in East Palo Alto, police announced at a noon press conference today. The second youth was arrested on weapons-violation charges.

The police did not identify either youth because they are minors.

The infant's parents also were injured in the hail of bullets that pierced their car as they were leaving a baby shower in the 400 block of Wisteria Drive.

Police described the shooting as an act of retribution for a May 31 attack in Redwood City on the 17-year-old by members of the Surenos gang. However, in what is being called a case of mistaken identity, the victims of Sunday's shooting were not involved in the May attack and were not the people whom the teens thought they were, police said.

The two teens were picked up Sunday after a manhunt that had police going door to door in East Palo Alto interviewing known gang members and parolees.

The pair were arrested in the 400 block of Larkspur Drive. Officers found three weapons at the home. In the process of the interrogations, the 17-year-old made statements implicating himself in the shooting, police said today.

The department is continuing to gather evidence to determine whether the 16-year-old or anyone else will also be charged with the homicide and shootings. Police would not say if the two teens are members of a gang.

The police released sketches of the two teens Sunday; the 17-year-old is the one wearing a ski cap.

The infant's mother, Ivonne Garcia Lopez, was released from the hospital so she could attend the press conference. She appeared using a walker.

Police Chief Ron Davis had announced a $25,000 reward for any information that could lead to the suspects' capture. Police chaplains conducted a vigil on the block where the shooting occurred Sunday afternoon.

Anyone with additional information about the triple shooting is encouraged to call or send a text message to East Palo Alto police at 650-409-6792.

Witnesses can also send tips to

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Like this comment
Posted by Des
a resident of Woodside: Kings Mountain/Skyline
on Jun 6, 2011 at 3:43 pm

The chance of getting caught is so low, and the consequences of being caught are so unreliable that I'm sure these two did not even calculate being caught. Didn't even consider it could be the wrong target.

How do you convince two kids, who don't think they will live past 25, care about nothing but their friends and their image to weigh the consequences when they don't believe there is really any chance the consequences will happen?

6 angle of HD footage on every inch of public property?
Audio recordings of all public areas?
Directional Bullet sensors?
Violate constitutional law and also punish their families?
Violate constitutional law and allow onsite summary judgement to avoid lawyers?
Declare all gang members terrorists and not worry about their rights?
Put a Cop on every block to sit and wait for bad things to happen?
Give everyone a concealed weapons permit?
Reduce student/teacher ratios to 1:8 and give them tools to enforce home enforcement
Make teachers liable for ethics and moral?
Serial numbers on every bullet with liability to original purchaser?
Possession of Gun results in onsite and immediate capital punishment?
Raise property prices so much that all the "undesirables" move and become someone else's problem?
Make Parents personally & criminally liable for actions of children?
Sterilize violent people?
Capital Punishment for ALL drug offenses?
Legalize all drugs so there is no money in trafficking it?
Provide all low income parents with government jobs with better pay and benefits?
Put trackers on all first time offenders until 20yrs past last crime?

As you can see, really none of these options are good, none will get the support of a majority. At the same time, crimes like this cannot be seen as "one time events we deal with after the fact" Proactive approaches must be taken.

Sad on all accounts for all parties :-(

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