The shooting happened around 3 p.m. Wednesday at the corner of Walnut and Flower streets near Santa Ana High School.
Police say 13-year-old Rodrigo Valle was with some friends when a group approached them and asked what gang they are affiliated with. When Valle's group didn't answer, shots were fired. Valle was hit in the chest multiple times and died later at the hospital.
Police say Valle does not attend Santa Ana High School, but was visiting friends in the area. They say the 13-year-old was a known gang member who went to a continuation school.
At a news conference, police announced that with help from residents in the neighborhood, where the shooting took place, two alleged gang members were arrested.
"The statements about where the suspects went, if they know them, anything like that," said Chief Paul Walters from the Santa Ana Police Department. "Any little tidbit of information and just being willing to believe in us, and trust us, and talk to us can break a case in just a very quick time period and allow us to put them in custody."
Santa Ana police beefed up patrols around the schools in the area to make sure kids got to and from campus safely. Students admitted Thursday morning that they are scared and nervous about walking to school.
"Because of what's happening around here, it's not like what usually happens here," said student Maria Martinez. "I don't feel safe."
Christina Apodaca says her daughter is too young to be walking to school alone.
"She wants to walk by herself, I told her no, she's too small," said Apodaca. "We live up the street, so she's too small to be walking by herself. And I'm going to walk her all the way to school and back because you never know what could happen."
Santa Ana police are not releasing the identities of the two suspects in custody. Police do say they have the gun used to kill Valle.