"He killed my baby, he killed part of my soul too," cried Ivonne Garcia Lopez of the 17-year-old who East Palo Alto Police arrested in the shooting death of 3-month-old Izak Jimenez Garcia.
Police made arrests in the shooting early Monday morning.
The 22-year-old mother of two said she was riding in the back seat with her infant son and her 4-year-old son when two teenagers approached her car as her family was leaving a baby shower in East Palo Alto just before 1 a.m. Sunday morning. When the gunman fired at the car, Garcia Lopez tried to cover her children with her body. The mother wept, "I only saved one."
Garcia Lopez says that as her husband drove from the scene toward the hospital, dialing 911 at the same time, she heard the Izak cry. When she took the baby from his car seat, she says she saw a bullet in his head. She was shot in the leg, her husband suffered broken bones. The 4-year-old was unharmed.
East Palo Alto Police say the shooting may be a case of mistaken identity stemming from a fight in Redwood City on May 31st. Police Chief Ron Davis says that one of the suspects was beaten that day, and suspected that one of his attackers was the baby's 22-year old father Oscar Jimenez.
Garcia Lopez says that no one in her family knows the two suspects. "We are just normal people, we owe no one anything," Lopez Garcia said. As for her son's accused killers, she asked "Where were their parents?" She urged parents to pay attention to their kids, give them love or "they will find it on the streets and they'll end up being killers, destroying families."
Police say the 16-year-old suspect now held on weapons charges will likely face more serious charges. Chief Davis says that the fact that so many witnesses were willing to talk to investigators sends a very clear message that gratuitous violence will not be tolerated. He praised his police force and the community for working together.
Baby Izak - whose middle name is Jesus - would've been four months old on June 12.