HEMET (CBSLA.com) — Dozens of students from Hemet High School gathered for a candlelight vigil Wednesday in honor of a 16-year-old classmate who was stabbed to death over his cellphone two days ago.
Authorities said they found Eric Sargeant Jr. suffering from multiple stab wounds around 4:45 p.m. Monday near the intersection of Acacia Avenue and Cherrywood Drive.
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 a group of teen boys.
“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.
Alison Johnson, Sargeant’s girlfriend, said she was on the phone with him about 20 minutes before the incident.
“He was telling me how much he loved me and how he was going to get me a promise ring for my birthday,” she said. “And how he was going to change his priority and make me his number one priority.”
Although the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department hasn’t been able to develop strong descriptions of the suspects, Sargeant’s friends and family haven’t given up on the search.
“They’re all out there. They’re out there trying to find them. And they’re gonna,” said Lansing.
Johnson said, “Not only did they kill the person I love, but they hurt so many people.”
To make a donation for the victim’s funeral, click here.