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Search continues for shooter who killed 2 teens leaving El Cajon house party

memorial for teens killed in shooting at el cajon house party
Posted at 8:58 PM, Oct 30, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-31 11:37:34-04

EL CAJON, Calif. (KGTV) — The El Cajon Police Department is still looking for the shooter, or shooters, responsible for killing two teenagers as they left a house party Saturday night.

It happened just before 11 p.m. on Oct. 28 on Mahogany Drive, off of East Washington.

A large house party was underway at a short-term vacation rental on Mahogany.

Paramedics arrived to a chaotic scene. Roughly 100 teenagers spilled onto the street. Some were hysterical. Some were fighting with each other.

A 16-year-old boy and an 18-year-old man were down on the ground with multiple gunshots, according to the El Cajon Police Department.

Despite life-saving measures, both died at the scene.

Family members say 18-year-old Ismael Cruz is one of the victims.

His sister says he's a recent graduate of Westview High School in the Poway Unified School District.

She shared a picture of her brother along with the family's GoFundMe.

A 16-year-old boy was also killed. Flowers and candles were placed near the street in their memory.

Police say the house was being rented out, and neighbors say it's often the scene of large parties, but Saturday night was out of control.

"They sleep in my yard, they smoking, drinking, lay down in my yard. I don't know what else they doing," a neighbor who doesn't want to be identified said.

The woman says she was about to call the police Saturday night because of the noise, but she was afraid of retaliation. Moments later, she heard the shots.

"After we hear the shots, we get scared. We lay down, everybody lay down, and we scared like maybe they are going to shoot together, come together shoot at my house," said the woman.

A few houses down, George Griffin woke up to the sound of gunfire.

"There was 10 gunshots. I woke up to like a big boom," said Griffin.

He said his daughter tried to help the victims.

"She said he had three bullet holes in him, and she felt his pulse, and she said he hardly had any pulse," said Griffin.

Police haven't released the name of the 16-year-old victim. The shooter got away in a vehicle parked down the street.

Investigators believe the shooting was gang-related.