“He’s a good guy, he loved life, laughing, playing and joking,” Mohamed Zneidi said as he described his stepson 12-year-old Jason Spears.
Spears was shot and killed walking to the Circle K convenience store late Sunday night in Highland.
His cousin and best friend 14-year-old Terrance Spears was also shot, but is expected to make a full recovery.
“For everything I know right now this could have been someone caught in a crossfire,” Lt. Rich Lawed, San Bernardino Police, said. “I don’t know who was out there.”
San Bernardino Police are looking for witnesses to help catch the shooter who may have sped away in a dark SUV.
Police said the two boys were shot about a block from this Circle K gas station on Highland and Orange where they managed to run for help.
Jason collapsed in the parking lot with a bullet wound to his upper body before he could get inside the store, according to witnesses.
“You lost something and you can’t take it back,” Zneidi said. “Death never comes back.”
A small memorial with flowers a balloon that reads, “you will be missed,” now marks the area where Jason died.
Police are investigating whether the shooting was gang related, even though officer’s say the boys had no gang affiliations.
“I think it’s a mistaken identity,” one neighbor said. “Basically cowards with guns don’t really know what they’re doing with them.”
Officers spent the day canvassing the neighborhood where the boy’s live looking for clues. They’ll also review surveillance video from the convenience store to see if they get a better suspect description.
Neighbors are planning a candlelight vigil for the boys on Monday night at their home.
San Bernardino police said homicides are up in the city this year.