Wilmington

Mother Grieves 12-Year-Old Killed in Triple Shooting in Wilmington

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One young teen died and two others were wounded. Hetty Chang reports for the NBC4 News on Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021.

A vigil was held Tuesday in Wilmington at the scene of a shooting that took the life of a 12-year-old boy and wounded his parent, while another child was wounded on a playground nearby by an apparent stray shot.

The slain 12-year-old, later identified as Alexander Alvarado, was riding with one of his parents in the family SUV to pick up his younger brother from grammar school. They were still in the area, just down the block, when the shots rang out.

 "I ask myself many times, why, why would he do this,” his mother Jenny Romero said.  

Alexander’s parents are now grappling with grief and anger over the deadly barrage of gunfire outside Wilmington Park Elementary.  One parent was hurt, and one son escaped injury.

But Alexander was mortally wounded.

"It's hard to believe my son is not here,” Jenny Romero said.  

“I don’t know what made this guy do this...just start shooting at my car. It hits my wife, hits my boy, my older son."

Jenny explained her wife Evelyn had just picked up their other child. 

"They were around the corner. That's when this guy popped out of nowhere and just went off,” Jenny said. 

When they heard the gunshots, students did as they'd been taught, and dropped to the ground. The off-campus shooting has shaken parents of students at Wilmington Park Elementary. Toni Guinyard reports for NBC4 on Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021.

She said her wife saw the shooter’s face, and that he looked like a child himself. A 

“His brother was everything to him, which is why I say, ‘think about what you want to do before you do it,’” Jenny said. "You already took a piece of me. Why would you even want to do this?”

Jenny also wants to know where the young shooter’s parents are, and how he got ahold of a weapon. 

“Guide them on the right path, and not have kids out there -- a kid shooting kids,” she said. 

Evelyn has been able to return from the hospital to her home. But Alexander will never come home again.

Authorities also said later that the 9-year-old girl who was injured in the shooting was at the schoolyard nearby. School officials didn’t know she had been injured until all the students were gathered in the auditorium following gunshots, and her wound was discovered. She remains in stable condition in the hospital.