Police today identified a 14-year-old boy who was shot to death in Santa Cruz County near Watsonville on Saturday night as Jesse Lopez. Lopez, of Watsonville, was fatally shot in the 400 block of Hecker Pass Road near state Highway 152, according to the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office. His friend, also 14, called 911 at 8:16 p.m. to report that he and Lopez had been shot, the sheriff’s office said.
Arriving deputies found both boys suffering gunshot wounds. They were transported to Watsonville Community Hospital, where Lopez later died.The second victim was treated and released. Detectives believe the shooting was gang-related. The weapon used in the shooting has not yet been recovered.Investigators believe the victims rode together in a car with some people they had just met to the Hecker Pass Road location, where they were confronted by a group who opened fire on them.
It appears that the group and the people the boys had just met knew each other. Both groups dispersed in vehicles following the shooting.The Santa Cruz County Gang Task Force is assisting with the sheriff’s office investigation.
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