By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
5-year-old fatally shot outside Oakland taco truck
Placeholder Image

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Oakland police on Saturday were looking for a man who shot and killed a 5-year-old boy just after ordering food from a family-operated taco truck.

Gabriel Martinez Jr. was a few feet from his father outside the truck when he was shot just after 8:30 p.m. on Friday, police told the Oakland Tribune ( ).

Investigators don't believe Gabriel was the target. Other people, including some children, were standing near the truck when the boy was shot, but nobody else was hit by gunfire, police said.

Gabriel's father comforted his son in his arms before the boy was taken by ambulance to Children's Hospital, the newspaper said. Gabriel was pronounced dead at the hospital at 9:04 p.m.

The father has operated a taco truck at the east Oakland site since 1993 and also owns a restaurant in the area, police said.

A motive hasn't been determined. Investigators believe the gunman got into a car with a woman and fled. Police and Crime Stoppers of Oakland are offering up to $25,000 in reward money for information leading to the arrest of the gunman.

"Here we have another young, innocent child killed for no reason," said Officer Eric Milina, the lead investigator in the case. "He'll never have a chance to grow up and his parents won't be able to enjoy his life."

Gabriel is the third young child to die from gunfire in the city since August. On Aug. 8, 3-year-old Carlos Nava was with his mother and riding in a stroller at a corner strip mall when he was fatally shot by a stray bullet outside in east Oakland.

On Nov. 28, 1-year-old Hiram Lawrence was hit by gunfire as he was being held by his father outside a liquor store where a rap video was being filmed. Six others were wounded, including the father.

Hiram's family decided to take him off of life support after multiple tests concluded he was brain dead. The boy would have turned 2 on Wednesday.