SAN LEANDRO -- Simply put, he was the quarterback.
So said Trevion Foster's football coach at McClymonds High School in Oakland, hours after learning his former player was shot to death at a San Leandro elementary school campus. Foster mostly played defense, middle linebacker to be precise, but that didn't matter to Curtis McCauley.
"The work ethic, the focus, the leadership he displayed, he was our quarterback in every way imaginable," McCauley said. "I coached the linebackers, too, and he was our quarterback in every way imaginable."
Witnesses reported hearing shots around 8:45 p.m. Wednesday at Hillside Elementary School, 15980 Marcella St., according to Alameda County Sheriff's Sgt. J.D. Nelson. Deputies found Foster, suffering from at least one gunshot wound, in a grassy area in the back area of the campus, Nelson said.
Rescuers took Foster to Eden Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead just before 9 p.m., Nelson said. Foster was 19.
An autopsy was scheduled for 2 p.m. Thursday, but results were not immediately available.
"When I heard this morning, it was very, very painful, because he was one of those kids who would've made something of himself," McCauley said of Foster, who was taking courses at Laney College. "His parents were actively involved in his life. He was just a well-rounded young man who people liked. It hurts to deal with this."
Sheriff's Office authorities did not identify Foster, but
There are no named suspects and no one is in custody, Nelson said. Investigators are checking the possibility that the shooting came during a dice game.
Hillside Elementary School was closed because of the investigation Thursday.
The area is typically a quiet neighborhood, said resident Veronica Navarro, 33, who lives across the street from the school. Wednesday night, her mother alerted her to a commotion outside as she watched television.
She went outside and saw police searching the school grounds using flashlights, with the help of police dogs. Around 10 p.m., she received an alert call from the school, advising her that the school would be closed Thursday "due to a matter unrelated to the school" and that her 10-year-old son, Kevin would have to stay home.
San Lorenzo Unified School District spokeswoman Sharon Lampel said that per the principal's instruction, the school's parents and staff were notified by an auto dialer system Wednesday night.
"In order to assist local law enforcement, we mutually decided to close the school today," she said. "We will be supporting our studentcommunity by offering any assistance needed through a crisis intervention team when the school reopens."
McCauley said Foster was at his best during McClymonds' run to the 2011 Oakland Athletic League championship. The Warriors won their final seven games that season, and Foster was a force defensively and offensively, catching two touchdown passes in a 41-0 OAL semifinal win over Castlemont.
Plans for a possible memorial service are pending, McCauley said.