PASADENA (CBSLA) – A 10-year-old boy is fighting for his life after being shot and wounded while playing in the front yard of his Pasadena home Sunday afternoon.
The shooting occurred in the 300 block of Parke Street at about 3 p.m. Pasadena police officers responded to reports of multiple gunshots to find that a boy, identified by the family as Mario Gabriel Ramirez, had been struck several times.
“Everything happened so fast,” Gabriela Joya, Mario’s mother, said. “It kind of keeps replaying in my head, you know, me running out and seeing my son the way I saw him.”
He was rushed to a hospital with life-threatening injuries. A family member told CBSLA Monday that the boy was struck three times. He was immediately rushed to the hospital and underwent surgery. The boy’s cousins were in the yard too, but were not wounded.
Family members said the boy was undergoing a second surgery and would need another one later this week.
“He still kind of doesn’t really know all of the details,” Joya said. “He knows he was shot. He knows he’s in the hospital.
“Doctors told me that he’s very lucky to be alive,” she continued. “I mean, it was very, very close. It could have been just a very different story.”
Investigators learned that a vehicle pulled up to the home and at least one suspect emerged, opened fire and then jumped back into the vehicle and sped away, police said.
Investigators believe three men were in the car, described only as a light-colored four-door sedan.
“I believe at least one suspect got out of the vehicle,” Pasadena police Lt. Carolyn Gordon told reporters Sunday.
Detectives have no evidence at this time that the boy was the intended victim. It’s unclear if they had obtained any surveillance video of the suspects or the shooting itself.
Gabriel Alvarez, who lives nearby, told CBSLA he was not surprised to hear about the shooting.
“I wasn’t to be honest, now it’s just normal around here,” Alvarez said. “It’s scary but it’s normal now, so you get used to it.”
Last November, 27-year-old Ernesto Jimenez was shot and killed while walking on Parke Street.
Neighbors have demanded a larger police presence in the area because of gang problems. Last September, two teens were shot and injured a few blocks away. In December, two men were killed and a third wounded in a shooting in a Pasadena park.
“Crime in Pasadena is down about 20% for the new year,” Pasadena police Lt. Bill Grisafe told CBSLA Monday. “However our gun violence is skyrocketing. Its the individuals who are in possession of guns illegally, either in possession of ghost guns, are on some type of probation or parole, or carrying stolen guns.”
A family member has set up a GoFundMe page to help the family cover medical expenses.