HEMET (CBSLA.com) —A 16-year-old Hemet boy was fatally stabbed by a group of teenagers who wanted his cellphone Monday afternoon.
Riverside County sheriff’s deputies responded to an assault around 4:45 p.m. near the intersection of Acacia Avenue and Cherrywood Drive.
Authorities said they found Eric Ronald Sargeant, a sophomore at Hemet High School, suffering from multiple stab wounds.
Witnesses told deputies they saw three or four Hispanic boys dressed in dark clothing flee though a vacant field after the incident.
Melissa Lansing, the victim’s mother, said her son was walking home from a nearby store with a few friends when they were approached by the strangers.
“I was told that three people came up to him and asked to use his cellphone. He said no. That’s when they started stabbing him,” she said.
Sargeant was airlifted to Riverside Regional Medical Center, but died five hours later from his injuries.
Lansing said she was able to see her son one last time before he passed away.
“I said, ‘Mama loves you.’ And he said, ‘I love you, Mama.’ That was it. He went for surgery. Didn’t make it,” she said.
On Tuesday night, nearly 200 people gathered for a candlelight vigil in honor of Sargeant at the spot he was killed.