SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (KABC) --Questions are being raised after it took emergency responders eight minutes to show up to the scene of a suspected drive-by shooting that left a 12-year-old dead and his 14-year-old cousin injured in San Bernardino.
The San Bernardino Fire Department, which is right across the street from the scene, told Eyewitness News that "it is department policy that in violent situations we stage and wait for police to arrive and secure the scene."
Jason Spears was killed Sunday night while walking to a convenience store near Orange Street and Love Lane. His cousin, Terrance Spears, suffered non-life-threatening injuries and tried to get Jason help.
Lt. Rich Lawhead said the crime scene was on the outskirts of the city and the department was in the middle of a shift change that may have played a role in the delay when the call came in. He added that the department is down about 100 officers since the city entered bankruptcy.
"Those are critical minutes, they really are...we are very limited. We have had to shift the majority of our resources to a reactive mode," he said.
A union spokesperson for the fire department said, "Police and fire do the best with what they are given."
But community members remain upset.
"That's their job. That's what they get paid for - to put their life on the line for citizens," said Yaschica Morrow of Rancho Cucamonga. "I think that the community needs to step up and start fighting the crime violence because a 12-year-old boy getting killed - to me - is sad, it's devastating."