Slain Redlands teens identified
Officials have identified the two youths killed by gunfire Wednesday in Redlands. They are Quinn McCaleb, 17, of Redlands, who died at the scene, and Andrew Jackson, 16, who was pronounced dead in the emergency room of Loma Linda University Medical Center, according to the coroner's office of San Bernardino County.
Two other teens also were seriously injured and remain at Loma Linda after undergoing surgery, officials said. Their wounds are not thought to be immediately life-threatening, said Carl Baker, the public information officer for Redlands and the Redlands police.
Authorities have released little information about the shootings, which were reported just after 7 p.m. and occurred in an outdoor common area of an apartment complex on Oxford Drive, a cul de sac. The victims were in a group and ran in different directions once the shooting started, with one person escaping injury, officials said.
Quinn's mother, Shanita Williams, said she was attending college classes when she got word of the shooting.
"I went straight to the site, and my baby was lying dead under a tree,” Williams said of her son, who turned 17 on Nov. 6.
She said her son, a former Redlands High School student, had gone through a "rough patch" but had just returned to an academic program, determined to finish high school and either attend college or go into the military. He was interested in a career in communications, she said.
Williams said she had quit her job as a scheduler for a medical office to provide a daily presence for her son.
The family, including her husband and a younger son, had moved to Redlands eight years ago, she said, adding that over that time, the crime and gang situation has worsened.
"He had been chased home from school," she said. "He had been in several altercations with Hispanic gang members."
The shooting victims are African American, Williams said, adding that her son had friends from all backgrounds and ethnicities: "My son got along with anyone who got along with him."
She said her son was not involved in gangs, and, to her knowledge, neither were the other victims.
Police said they could not confirm whether the shooting was gang-related or related to ethnicity. Baker did confirm, however, that a Latino gang and a black gang are active in that area.
"I wouldn't want to characterize this as racial tensions," he said. "It's unusual that we would have a shooting incident of this nature. We typically don't have a high level of that."
Williams said she still hasn't fully absorbed what has happened.
"He was so well known, so well liked, so intelligent, so charming," she said. "He had a beautiful smile. I really hope they catch who did this. These boys have not even lived their lives.”
-- Howard Blume