STOCKTON, Calif. (KTXL) -- Stockton police are searching for whoever shot and killed a teenager early Sunday morning.
The victim’s mother identified the teenager as 17-year-old Rafael Chavez Jr. and describes her son as a loving goofball who enjoyed playing football and would do anything for his family.
In a search for answers, Officer Joseph Silva told FOX40 that police are canvassing the neighborhood and looking for witnesses. Their investigation began when 911 calls started pouring in just before 2:30 a.m. with reports of several gunshots near the intersection of Rose Street and Queen Avenue.
“Right now we have a lot of grieving family members and they have a lot of questions,” said Silva.
“I thought they were shooting at the house! So, I got out and there’s some girl screaming and that’s when the cops came,” said one neighbor.
When police arrived, they found Chavez suffering from gunshot wounds. Officials said he died at the scene.
“Unfortunately, medics pronounced him deceased at the scene. So, we called out our homicide team and they’ve been working this case all throughout the early morning hours and into today. And right now, we don’t have a motive for this homicide,” said Silva.
Investigators do not believe the shooting was random and think there may have been witnesses.
“A lot of times people are apprehensive to talk to a uniformed officer at the scene. So, we encourage people if they have information that they want to report anonymously they can do so to Stockton crime stoppers,” said Silva.
The Stockton Unified School District confirmed that the victim used to attend Cesar Chavez High School and released a statement.
We were saddened to learn of the death of one of our former Stockton Unified students. We extend our heartfelt sympathy to his family. Many current students have and will be affected by this news. We will have additional support on campus next week, should our students need support dealing with this tragic loss.
Again, police do not have a motive or suspect description to release. If you have any information, call Stockton police.