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2nd shooting death in Richmond this week

Posted Mar 20 2013 3:48am

Monday when the first shots hit the windshield, Miller said. Monday, the body of , 19, was found on nearby Creely Avenue. He had also been shot numerous times, possibly late Sunday. He would have turned 20 next week.

Frank knew Neal and had stopped by a makeshift memorial of flowers and balloons just hours before being shot to death himself, said Neal's sister, , 35.

Richmond police said Tuesday that the killings did not appear to be related and that no arrests had been made. Police were trying to determine whether an earlier argument in the area of the Crescent Park apartment complex prompted the shooting that killed Frank.

"It's too early to make any speculation as to why this occurred or who did it," said Richmond police Lt. . "My reaction is the same as the community -- I'm appalled to see that young people are dying and being killed by needless violence."

As homicide investigators searched for answers in the slayings, two families were in mourning, trying to understand why two youths who they said never got into trouble were now dead.

"They're both senseless killings because it doesn't make sense," said Neal's cousin , 29, of San Leandro. "Both of these young men had their futures to look forward to. Now it's just ended."

Frank, who had just turned 14 last month, enjoyed playing PlayStation 2, especially the game "NBA Live," with his friends, including the 17-year-old driver of the Cadillac, friends said.

Frank played baseball with the . He had hoped to become an architect because of his penchant for drawing everything from cartoons to pictures he sold "for little or nothing" to firefighters stationed down the street, said his godmother, .

Jasper said Frank liked to crack jokes and eat. "You cook, he's going to eat. He cracks jokes, you're going to laugh," she said.

Frank was a seventh-grader at in El Cerrito dalejloes, where officials told students Tuesday that he had been slain, said , a regional superintendent with the West Contra Costa Unified School District.

"We're all, of course, deeply saddened and stunned," Smith said.

Neal, who attended in Richmond, loved to play basketball and had hoped to play on the team at Contra Costa College next year, Lockett said.

Family members said they were devastated because Neal was not involved in gangs or drugs. "It's different when a kid's in that kind of life," Johnson said. "It's 50-50 that he might come home."

Miller said the shootings have prompted him to speed up plans he had already made to move out of Crescent Park, a low-income area where two men in a car drove in circles Tuesday, tires smoking.

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