A stray bullet struck and killed a 13-year-old boy in his Pasadena bedroom on Saturday evening, police said. By Sunday morning, a small memorial stood outside his home not far from a window with a single bullet hole.
The teen was struck in the 900 block of North Raymond Avenue sometime after 6 p.m. Three to five shots were fired outside his bedroom and at least one struck the boy, police said. There is no information on the suspects or the motive behind the shooting, Lt. Anthony Burgess of the Pasadena Police Department said.
Stewart Baynes was playing dominoes across the street at the time of the shooting when he heard what he thought were firecrackers. His kids were playing outside around the same time.
“We didn’t think anything of it. It wasn’t a loud bang, but just something that made us pause for a second or two,” Baynes said Sunday afternoon. “Then we heard the sirens and knew that it was another shooting. It’s getting to be so damn ridiculous out here. Pasadena is such a small city when you get down to it.”
It’s unlikely that the teen was the shooter’s intended target, police Lt. Bill Grisafe said.
“We’re not certain of it at this point, but we don’t think that this family was the target,” Grisafe said. “We’re trying to determine who the target was.”
Jovita Gonzalez, a neighbor of the teen who was shot and killed, has lived next to the family since he was born. The boy’s mother ran out of the home just after the shooting and was sobbing, she said. The mother grabbed on to Gonzalez and said in Spanish, “The ambulance isn’t here yet. Where is it?”
“They are just a tight-knit family. The kids are smart. It’s just devastating, because he’s just playing video games and then he’s killed,” Gonzalez said. “She was just hugging me so tightly. It just happened.”
First responders who arrived at the home performed CPR on the teen, who was unresponsive, according to Burgess. It was not immediately clear where the teen was shot. He was taken to Huntington Memorial Hospital and later pronounced dead.
Last December, three people were shot and one was killed at Villa-Parke Community Center, not far from where Saturday’s fatal shooting took place.
Just a block away, a person was shot at a Halloween party in October, and this month, a 36-year-old woman was wounded in a drive-by shooting about a mile away in the 1800 block of Navarro Avenue in Pasadena. In a separate shooting, another victim, described as a man in his 30s, was wounded in the 1000 block of Summit Avenue, just one block east from the Raymond shooting. All three victims survived, according to police.
Last month, city leaders and the Police Department held an emergency community meeting in response to the string of shootings. Police told a crowded auditorium at Robinson Park Community Center that the shootings appeared to be gang-related, as reported by the Pasadena Star News.
The family declined to make statements Sunday afternoon.