SANTA CRUZ -- A 13-year-old Santa Cruz boy was shot and killed on the 100 block of San Lorenzo Boulevard just after 8 p.m. Wednesday.
The teenager, whom police describe as a "documented gang member" was walking on San Lorenzo near Bixby Street when he was shot twice in the back during a drive-by shooting, according to Santa Cruz Police spokesman Zach Friend.
A good Samaritan, driving by, stopped and tried to administer CPR. One of the county's gang task force cars, including a Watsonville police officer and one from Santa Cruz, were in the area at the time of the shooting. They were on scene within two minutes and also attempted CPR, to no avail, Friend said.
The teenager, whom Friend said has had multiple contacts with police, was pronounced dead at the scene.
"We have to ask ourselves as a community how many kids need to experience this kind of violence before we intervene," Friend said. "It's everywhere not just one neighborhood. Kids are getting involved in gangs too young."
Friend said it's too early to know what precipitated the shooting.
About an hour after shooting, police initiated an all-county Project ROPE seeking a black Lexus with silver lettering and a white Chrysler van, license plate 6NW634.
Witnesses reported seeing three or four men in their 20s wearing dark hoodies inside the van, which drove off toward Canfield Street. The sedan left toward the Boardwalk.
Police also sent sheriff's deputies
Police closed off streets in the neighborhood of San Lorenzo and Canfield Street for hours after the shooting. They interviewed witnesses and scanned the area for evidence.
A tourist from Castro Valley, staying at a nearby hotel, said "This bummed out my weekend." He was walking to the Boardwalk when he ran across the police tape. He said he didn't hear or see the shooting.
The slaying marks Santa Cruz's second homicide of the year and No. 7 in the county. There have been two homicides in Watsonville and three in the unincorporated part of the county this year.