Brother Mourns Victim Killed in Shooting

Omar Cortez, 18, was killed in last night's shooting at the corner of Linden Avenue and Eighth Lane.

Alejandro Cortez stood alone at the edge of Eighth Lane, staring ahead with red eyes at a spot on the ground in front of him where votive candles and a bottle of Olde English 800 malt liquor had been left at the base of a telephone pole.

He didn't move as other young men passed by him, walking up and down the alley past other makeshift memorials where .  Two victims were killed and one was left in critical condition from an attack by three reported assailants.

Alejandro Cortez, 21, said the coroner's office notified his family last night that his brother, Omar Cortez, had been killed in the shooting.

Omar Cortez, 18, was coming home from the gym Wednesday night when shots were fired at the corner of Linden Avenue and Eighth Lane, his brother said. Cortez worked in a warehouse in Brisbane and lived with his three siblings and parents on Olive Avenue, according to his brother.

The coroner's office still won't publicly identify the victims of the shooting, but Yvonne Ruiz, 20, said that .  Avalos lived with his mother and siblings in the neighborhood.

Ruiz's younger brother, Giovanni Avalos, 15, was also injured in the shooting.  He was released from the hospital last night and is recuperating at home.  He was shot in the leg, relatives said.

The brothers were hanging out with friends at the time of the shooting, Olmos said. She didn't know why someone would have tried to kill them.  The area is known for gang violence, but police won't confirm whether the shooting was gang-related.

KTVU is reporting that the victim in critical condition has died.

Police are still searching for the alleged shooters, described by witnesses as three Hispanic males possibly in their late teens or early 20s. They may have been driving a brown 2000 or 2002 Chevy Impala with tinted windows, according to witnesses.

Mayor Kevin Mullin said in a statement that the city will increase its police presence in the neighborhood, which is known for gang activity.

"The full resources of the city will be brought to bear to apprehend the perpetrators," Mullin said. "The cycle of violence must be stopped and it will take the efforts of an entire community to do so."

"This is a sad day for South San Francisco."


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