SANTA ANA — A 15-year-old boy was shot in the head Tuesday afternoon in an apparent gang-related shooting as he and his friends walked down a residential street near Rancho Santiago College, police said.
The victim, whose name has not been released, was struck by a bullet fired from a passing car at 1:12 p.m. in the 1500 block of West Washington Avenue, which borders the south side of the college campus.
He was taken to UCI Medical Center in Orange and was on life-support systems Tuesday night.
"Words were exchanged between occupants of the car and the victim and his friends," said Sgt. Art Echternacht. "Several shots were fired from the vehicle which was last seen" speeding west on Washington Avenue.
No one has been arrested.
The shooting occurred in front of the home of Lynelle Goeser, a 39-year-old registered nurse, who said she heard at least four gunshots, then found the wounded teen-ager lying on her front lawn.
"He had been shot in the head," Goeser said tearfully. "He looked so young. I checked his vital signs and tried to comfort him before the ambulance arrived. All I could do was pray for him because you could tell he was going to die."
Goeser's roommate, Beverly Holley, said: "We didn't know this kid but he was just a baby. It's such a waste. You think about his family and what they have to face at Christmastime."
Goeser's grandmother, 90-year-old Wava Eastberg, has lived in a Tudor-style house on the block for 40 years, but she was was at the supermarket with Holley when the shooting occurred.
"This has been such a wonderful place to live," said Holley, who is also a registered nurse. "Normally, there are just a lot of college kids coming and going. But you have to think about selling when something like this happens. How long can we live amongst this?"