STOCKTON — Stockton Police say they are searching for a 14-year-old boy suspected in a Jan. 12 homicide.
A customer who was inside the Food 4 Less on March Lane told FOX40 a man later identified as Chris Combs rushed inside the store for help. He had been shot and was bleeding on the floor.
The following Sunday, police arrested 20-year-old Kayla Woodward in connection with the deadly shooting but say 14-year-old Eric Lamar Sloan Jr. pulled the trigger.
Police released a photo of Sloan on Thursday, saying he should be considered armed and dangerous.
Anyone with information about Sloan’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Stockton Police Department.
The case is particularly troubling because of the suspect’s age.
“How are these children getting their hands on guns like that?” Sammy Nunez, of Fathers and Families of San Joaquin, told FOX40.
The hunt for the 14-year-old comes just two days after police say an 11-year-old held up a Stockton gas station convenience store at gunpoint. So why do kids this young turn violent?
Nunez says to consider how they were raised.
“I think unresolved trauma of parents becomes trauma of children,” he said. “Our children are a mirror reflection of the adults that surround them. I think we as adults there’s a level of culpability.”
Nunez says he’s heartbroken over the loss of Chris Combs, the victim in the Food 4 Less shooting, another life taken by senseless gun violence. He says Combs is the true victim but wants the community he serves to work together to find a solution.
“We need to examine ourselves as a community as well and we need to accept these are our children and we need to do something that they’re crying out they need some healing,” he said.