SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (KABC) --Distraught family members and friends called for justice and voiced concerns over heightened violence during an emotional vigil to remember a 12-year-old boy whose life was cut short in a barrage of gunfire in San Bernardino.
Jason Spears and his cousin, 14-year-old Terrance Spears, were walking to the store around 10 p.m. Sunday when they were shot in a drive-by shooting near the intersection or Orange Street and Love Lane.
The boys ran about half a block to a Circle K gas station, where Jason collapsed and died. Terrance was wounded in the arm and leg. He spoke tearfully at the vigil Monday night.
"I still can't believe that he's gone," he said. "He was funny, he made me laugh and we loved each other."
Jason is the 15th murder victim in San Bernardino in 2016. This is almost double the murder rate during the same period time last year.
Jason's mother joined community members in a march through the neighborhood, but as they neared the area where Jason collapsed and died, she was overwhelmed with grief.
Area residents say violence in their neighborhood has reached an alarming level. The shooting has shaken Jason and Terrance's family and their community.
"My whole family, we're grieving right now. All we want is just justice for what had happened," said Marquita Williams, Jason's cousin.
Elizabeth Romero said she works at the local school and was shocked when she encountered the crime scene.
"When I saw them, I said, 'Oh my god, he's one of my boys," Romero said through tears.
San Bernardino police have extra officers on patrol because of a spike in violence and gang activity in the area.
"I'm very tired. People just sit out here and shoot people for no apparent reason. Just for the hell of it. I'm done," Williams said.
Area resident Pamela Williams said her six grandchildren are not allowed at her house because of the violent activity in her neighborhood.