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A 13-year-old boy was fatally shot while heading home from his grandmother’s house in Santa Cruz on Wednesday night, police said. Santa Cruz police were called to the 100 block of San Lorenzo Boulevard just after 8 p.m. and found two off-duty medical professionals trying to resuscitate the boy, whom they had seen fall onto the pavement as he ran back toward his grandmother’s house, Deputy Chief Rick Martinez said. Police said the boy was walking toward the Santa Cruz Metro Center less than half a mile away when he was shot by someone in a vehicle, Martinez said. He died at the scene. Martinez said they could not yet confirm the boy’s name.
He said police have found a white van that may be associated with the killing. The van had been reported stolen from Watsonville, Martinez said. Martinez said the victim “was known to be actively immersed and involved in gang activity.” He said the members of the gang unit knew the boy as an at-risk youth who was associated with the Sureno gang.
According to Martinez, police had contact with the boy as recently as Wednesday, the day of the killing, and had offered him a place in their Personally Responsible Individual Development in Ethics, or PRIDE, youth outreach program. The boy had declined the offer, Martinez said. The murder is Santa Cruz’s second of the year.
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