INDIO, Calif.- - Family members of a 16-year-old boy killed in a Thursday night Indio shooting have confirmed his identity to News Channel 3.
Jesse Gonzales, who was a 10th-grade student at Stepping Stones Charter School in Indio, died after a shooting which was reported at 8:00 p.m. on the 82100 block of Valencia Street in Indio.
"He was gone too soon. He was young. He had a whole life ahead of him," a friend of Gonzales's told News Channel 3. She didn't wish to be identified. "Why...why did you have to take an innocent life?"
A second male victim was hospitalized with a gunshot wound. He was a friend of Jesse's, according to family members, and was shot in the leg.
A family member told News Channel 3 that Jesse was shot twice in the chest and once in the face.
"All I heard was gunshots I ran out and I thought it was him on the floor across the street -- but it wasn’t, it was his friend," Gonzales's friend said. She said Gonzales's mother was seen visibly upset at the scene of the shooting.
"I could already tell by the tears in her eyes that something was wrong," she said. "It took forever for the ambulance to come. He was over there bleeding out."
David Gordon, pastor of Trinity Baptist Church, said the shooting has rattled the entire community.
"A lot of crying, a lot of grief, a lot of questions," Gordon said. He's worried about the possibility of retaliation.
"I just that everyone will forgive, that there will be no revenge," he said,"
The community built a memorial in front of Gonzales's home, where his father and younger brother were seen tearful."
"That was his older brother," his friend said. "That was his only brother."
Indio Police are not ruling out the possibility that this was gang related, though they say there is no evidence suggesting that yet. Dozens of police were searching for the gunman Friday night.
Anyone with any information is asked to call Valley Crimestoppers at 760 341-7867. Tips can remain anonymous and you may be eligible for a cash reward.
More: I-Team investigations
Find us on Facebook: KESQ News Channel 3
Follow us on Twitter for breaking news updates: @KESQ
We’re on Instagram! @KESQ_News_Channel_3
Noticias en español: Telemundo 15