Schaumburg shooting injures 3 youths

March 11, 2010 4:57:01 PM PST
Police in the northwest suburbs are searching for suspects in a drive-by shooting that sent three young people to the hospital.

The shooting took place around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday across the street from a Schaumburg convenience along Bode Road.

Two of the victims remain hospitalized Thursday. They were shot as they walked from their homes to a strip mall in the northwest suburbs.

Miguel Mendoza is telling the story about his brother and sister who were shot at a 7-Eleven. He's hoping his younger brother will recover from surgery.

"He's hoping to recover and come home," said Mendoza in Spanish.

Twelve-year-old Ruben Gonzalez was shot multiple times and is in serious condition. Their sister, 14-year-old Maria Gonzalez, was grazed by a bullet and should be OK. Another boy, a 16-year-old friend, was also shot multiple times but has been upgraded to good condition.

Police say all three who live in a nearby apartment complex were walking to the a 7-Eleven to get beverages around 8:30 Wednesday night when a gold colored pick-up truck drove by. A shooter or shooters fired six bullets. A customer reportedly called 911.

Detectives say they are trying to figure out if the 16-year-old victim was possibly involved in a gang.

"We have no known affiliation for the younger ones. And that gets to talking to them, talking to their friends and we haven't been able to find anything that ties them to a gang. We're trying to go through the same process with the 16-year-old," said Sgt. John Nebl, Schaumburg Police Department.

Police say this is the first time people have been hit in a drive-by shooting in Schaumburg in at least three decades.

The 14-year-old girl and 16-year-old boy go to Schaumburg High School where school officials have made counselors available. They also have more police presence at the school as a precaution.

""They know these kids and they have friends. It is more of an issue of getting support and comfort," said Tim Little, Schaumburg High principal.

"Erring on the side of safety, they have an extra officer there, make sure that the students and staff and the parents feel that their children can come to school safely. That's the main reason for something like that," said Nebl.

Students who know of the teens say they are not worried about their safety but that they were taken by surprise.

"They are just saying that, they don't believe it really. It's just amazing that it happened around Schaumburg," said Dan Kim, student.

Joe Mariano who runs Old Town Pizza heard the drive-by gun shots Wednesday night. He says the area has seen its share of violence recently.

Schaumburg police confirm that there was a nearby home invasion where shots were fired at an officer but missed a month and a half ago and that the 7-Eleven has been robbed within the last few years.

"At first, we were surprised that there was shooting out front but after a while, you sort of just accept it," said Mariano. "After a while, it is just not surprising any more."

Police have no suspects yet and are still looking for the gold pick-up truck.