Hours after a 15-year-old Oxnard boy died from stab wounds suffered in an earlier attack, three other youths were wounded Tuesday in an apparent gang-related shooting on the city's south end.
The sudden flash of violence had police scrambling to determine if there was any connection between the two attacks, which occurred less than 24 hours apart.
"We're not sure if this has all been tied together or whether it's just random gang violence," said Oxnard Police Chief Art Lopez. "These are senseless killings and injuries, and we don't want it in our city."
The three shooting victims were ambushed at about 5 p.m. outside a Pleasant Valley Road apartment complex, police said. Witnesses said a gunman stepped out of one of two cars, aimed his handgun and fired five shots.
All three of the male youths were hit in the legs, and none of the injuries was believed to be life-threatening. Police identified two of the victims as known gang members, ages 17 and 20. The third was described as a 15-year-old and an unintended target.
Officers fanned out across the neighborhood late Tuesday, interviewing residents and searching for evidence. No arrests have been made.
Javier Marquez, an eighth-grader at Nueva Vista School, died about 10:30 a.m. at St. John's Regional Medical Center, where he was being treated for stab wounds suffered in an assault the night before, authorities said. His mother, who spent the night at his bedside, said he suffered two heart attacks in the morning.
Residents in the 600 block of East Juniper Street contacted police about 6:30 p.m. Monday after Marquez staggered down the street calling for help before collapsing on a neighbor's lawn.
"He knew it was very serious," Sgt. Jim Seitz said. "He basically lay down in a fetal position on the grass and waited for police to arrive."
Police interviewed Marquez twice--once at the scene and again at the hospital--as he awaited surgery. But the youth was uncooperative both times, Seitz said.
"We have no idea why this took place," he said.
Times staff writer Jenifer Ragland contributed to this report.