14-year-old San Jose boy dies after beating

Shortly after his father dropped Heriberto Reyes off at Roosevelt Park in San Jose, a group of ruffians attacked the 14-year-old, landing him in critical condition and fighting for his life.

Police said Wednesday that Heriberto had died.

The fight took place Friday on gang turf in a popular area of downtown San Jose.

When police arrived on the scene, the majority of witnesses had already scattered. Anyone with information is encouraged to come forward, said Sgt. Jason Dwyer:

“The murder of a 14-year-old is extremely difficult to try to come to grips with. (The detectives) want what we all want: to get the people responsible for this behind bars.”

There are no suspects in the homicide.

Police say Heriberto was targeted by the gang, but it is unclear if he was part of any gang activity himself.

Heriberto attended Bernal Intermediate School in South San Jose, which is part of the Oak Grove School District. The district sent an automated call to all parents Tuesday night.

Police are revealing very few details about the crime, saying they want to give the Reyes family appropriate time to grieve and process the events.

The beating occurred at 6:55 p.m. in the park between Julian and Santa Clara streets. Police arrived on the scene and Heriberto was taken to the hospital with severe injuries. He died at 2:23 p.m. Monday.

President of the Oak Grove district’s school board Dennis Hawkins said that the crime should put parents on high-alert about the safety of their children:

“In this situation, it may have been he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. It could be as simple as that. I think parents are always concerned about where their kids are and what they’re doing and their safety, and to the extent that this makes us all the more vigilant about our kids.”

Roosevelt Park is a known gang hang out. Police say they have additional information, but refuse to release it. They did say they believe the homicide was gang-related. It does not appear that weapons were used.

Heriberto’s school, which noted that the incident occurred away from school grounds when school was out, said it will provide counseling for students, parents and teachers.

Anyone with additional information is asked to call Detectives Stewart Davies or Brian Spears at 408-277-5283.