A 22-year-old mother desperately shielded her two sons from shots fired as they left a baby shower Sunday morning, but her 3-month old infant was caught in the crossfire and died of a bullet to the head.
The mother, whose name was not released, suffered a gunshot wound to the buttock. Police said her husband, also 22, was shot in the shoulder. Their other son, a 3-year-old, was unharmed and is now in the care of relatives.
East Palo Alto Police Chief Ron Davis said the identities of the victims are not being released because an investigation is ongoing and police are worried about possible retaliation.
The Redwood City family was reportedly leaving a baby shower in the 400 block of Wisteria in East Palo Alto around 12:50 a.m. Sunday when the shooting occurred.
Police believe the adults were targeted by the shooters. “We don’t think this is a case of mistaken identity,” Davis said.
At least three people have been detained in relation to the case, but Davis said they are not considered suspects at this time.
Police would not say if they believe the incident was gang-related, but said they are investigating all possibilities.
Captain Jeff Liu said the suspects are believed to have approached the driver’s side of the vehicle on foot.
Liu said the family left the scene to seek medical attention, but was pulled over for driving at “excessive speeds.” Police then escorted the family to Stanford Hospital. The 3-month-old boy was pronounced dead at 2:15 a.m. His parents are still being treated for serious, but non-life threatening injuries.
Police are seeking two suspects, both described as Hispanic males in their early 20s, between 5 feet 9 inches and 5 feet 10 inches tall, with “thin” builds. One wore a dark hooded sweatshirt and the other wore a stocking cap atop long, dark hair.
A $25,000 reward has been offered for any information leading to the arrest of the suspects.
“We will find you,” Davis warned the suspects. “Have some sense of humanity and surrender.”
East Palo Alto Mayor Carlo Romero offered condolences to the family. “We’re all shocked by this,” Romero said. “Our hearts go out to the family and know that we are deploying all resources.”
Davis said this is the city’s second homicide of the year and the 15th shooting within city limits.