A 17-year-old boy was shot and killed Tuesday evening as he walked along a San Jose sidewalk in front of an elementary school -- apparently hit with multiple bullets fired by someone who drove by in a vehicle, neighbors say.

The shooting happened at 6:20 p.m. in the 900 block of Owsley Avenue, in front of Rocketship Mosaic Elementary School.

A neighbor who was outside when it happened first heard two shots, followed by a pause and then three more.

"I ran up the street, and this lady was holding his head up so he wouldn't choke on his blood," said the neighbor, who declined to be identified.

He said it appeared that at least two shots struck the boy in the chest, and that his breathing was labored and blood was coming from his mouth.

San Jose police said the boy was struck multiple times and pronounced dead at the scene.

The motive and circumstances remain under investigation, police said, and no arrests have been made. No one else was injured in the shooting.

Hours after the shooting, a red baseball cap lay next to an evidence marker at the scene of the shooting in an area residents said is known for gang activity.

One called it a "good neighborhood, but with some bad people," and a man who gave his name only as "Robert" said that after living in the area since 1983 he's become desensitized to violence.

"There's always stuff happening, and after a while, it's just like, you can't keep track of it anymore," he said.


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San Jose police Lt. Rick Weger said they are still interviewing multiple witnesses and would not divulge suspect or vehicle descriptions at this time. He said it appeared that a handgun was used and that a vehicle was involved.

He said it was too early to say whether it might be gang-related.

It was the city's 19th homicide, on the tail of the shooting of Thai Vu, 25, of Milpitas, early Friday morning at the Happioke karaoke bar, on Senter Road about two miles away from Tuesday's slaying. Three Union City teens were arrested in that case.

The city's 16th homicide happened a little more than a mile and a half from the shooting, on Virginia Avenue off S. King Road, when 16-year-old Ruben Zamora was gunned down in late May.

Before that, Ricky Jacques, 18, was shot and killed just a block away near Story Road and Lucretia Avenue on May 16.

Those three homicides are believed to be gang related.

Anyone with information is asked to call San Jose homicide investigators at 408-277-5283. Anonymous tips can be made to Silicon Valley Crime Stoppers at 408-947-7867.

Contact Eric Kurhi at 408-920-5852. Follow him at Twitter.com/erickurhi.