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Anaheim students grieve 12-year-old's death

June 13, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Grief counselors were at an Anaheim junior high school on Tuesday to help students deal with the stabbing death of a 12-year-old boy.

Students said Juan Martinez was a good kid, and they're shocked that someone they just talked to on Monday is dead.

Martinez was walking home after school when police said an older teenager came out of nowhere and attacked him in the 1500 block of East La Palma Avenue near Sycamore Junior High School at about 2:40 p.m. His friend Anthony Bustos was nearby and witnessed the whole incident.

"I saw him get stabbed. He ran across the street, and I ran after him to help him, and then he passed out," Bustos said.

Martinez was rushed to UCI Medical Center, where he was declared dead a short time later.

"No one deserves to die that young, and when I heard it, I broke down," said student Lianne Martinez.

She said she knew the victim for three years, describing him as funny and outgoing.

Police arrested 18-year-old Bryan Ocampo of Anaheim at about 7 p.m. He was jailed on suspicion of homicide. It was suspected Ocampo was part of a rival graffiti crew.

Detectives have not yet found the knife used in the attack, and they say the motive is still unclear. Police do not believe Martinez or Ocampo were gang members. Students said Martinez and an older teen were arguing.

"Some guy was talking some stuff on him ... and I think they were getting in a fight, and that's when he pulled out his knife," said student Edwin Palomino.

At the makeshift memorial for Martinez outside an apartment complex where the stabbing happened, residents were taking up a collection to help his family. The victim was one of six children, and his family is devastated.

"He's gone. He's not coming back, and he had so much ahead of him," said Elizabeth Martinez, the victim's eldest sister. "I hope that justice is served."

Anyone with information related to the incident is urged to contact Anaheim Police at (714) 765-1944.

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