2 suspects arrested in deadly shooting of 2 Union City boys near school

UNION CITY, Calif. -- After months of investigating, Union City police arrested two people in the murder of two young boys. The shooting took place in November in the parking lot of Searles Elementary School.

Union City police, the city's mayor and California State Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced the arrests at a news conference this morning.

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Police wouldn't answer questions about a motive, but said that two suspects will be tried with murder. One of suspects will be arraigned later this afternoon.

The suspects have been identified as 18-year-old year Jason Cornejo of Castro Valley and a 17-year-old juvenile from Hayward. They are accused in the murders of 14-year-old Sean Withington and 11-year-old Kevin Hernandez -- who are both from Union City.

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Union City police say 11-year-old Kevin Hernandez drove his mom's van to the Searles Elementary school parking lot on November 23. 14-year-old Sean Withington was with him. At 1:28 AM the boys were attacked.

Union City Police Chief Jared Rinetti said "The suspect entered the parking lot, pulled near Sean and Kevin and opened fire, gunning down both Sean and Kevin."

The boys died and the community was filled with apprehension.

Union City's police chief said they asked the state attorney general, Alameda County Sheriff's Office and several other city police departments to assist in this case. Six different search warrants were issued on Feb. 6 and authorities seized close to $60,000 worth of drugs and weapons. The district attorney's office say this was likely gang-related.

Chief RinettI showed photos of two handguns, three assault weapons, and several high-capacity magazines.

Kevin Dunleavy, Alameda county chief assistant DA, said "the complaint also alleges a gang enhancement and that these killings were done at the benefit, direction and association of a criminal street gang. "

California's Attorney General Xavier Becerra made the big announcement of the arrests, paying tribute to the other agencies including CHP, Hayward and Union City police, Alameda County and the DA's office for collaborating on solving the case .

"It is reassuring to know as a community that all the agencies involved came together to bring closure to the families," Thelma Aiuto, a Union City parent said.

There's still is no official motive and police still don't know why these gang members approached the 11-year-old and the 14-year-old in an elementary school parking lot. They said there could be more arrests in the case. The next court appearance is scheduled for February 20.


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