California mother says slain son feared for life

AP News
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Posted: Jun 12, 2017 5:28 PM

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — A 14-year-old boy gunned down in Central California had recently been in a fight at school with the 13-year-old classmate suspected in the death, the victim's mother says.

Diego Perez feared for his life before the fatal shooting late Friday, his mother, Tricia Sease, told KFSN-TV in Fresno (http://abc30.tv/2s3Amhj ).

Perez died outside an apartment complex in Huron, a small farming community southeast of Fresno. Authorities arrested the 13-year-old suspect hours later.

"They pointed the gun at my son's girlfriend," Sease tells the station. "My son threw her to the floor and took off running."

Tony Botti of the Fresno County Sheriff's Office on Monday declined to confirm the mother's statements, saying that the information was part of the ongoing investigation.

In a separate statement, Botti said the two boys had been classmates and knew each other from school.

Investigators are still piecing together a motive for the killing and have said it appeared to be intentional. Prosecutors and juvenile probation officials could file charges Tuesday, Botti said.

Assistant District Attorney Steve Wright said the suspect's age prevents him from talking publicly about the case headed for juvenile court.