(Reuters) – Cleveland police were searching on Saturday for suspects in a shooting that wounded five teenagers and killed a 12-year-old boy who had stepped outside his father’s store at the sound of gunfire, police and media reports said.
The shooting took place late on Friday when three or four males opened fire on a group of teenagers near a liquor store on Cleveland’s east side, police said in a statement.
A bullet struck the boy in the torso when he stepped out of his father’s nearby beauty supply store to see what was happening, the Cleveland.com news website said.
The father, who also went outside when the gunfire started, discovered the boy was wounded when they retreated into his store, and medics found the youth unresponsive, police said.
“We don’t know exactly what spurred this or what happened, but, you know, definitely our hearts go out to the families of the victims here,” Police Chief Calvin Williams told reporters.
The shooters were believed to be juveniles who fled on foot, Williams said. The wounded teenagers were all males aged 14 to 16 and were taken to University Hospital. One of them remained hospitalized with head wounds, police said.
There have been no arrests, and police declined to name the victims because of their ages. But Cleveland.com said the slain boy was a seventh-grader from Parma, Ohio. His family said he did well in school and loved sports, the website reported.
Reporting by Ian SimpsonEditing by Marguerita Choy