Police say they’ve arrested two people believed to be responsible for a May shooting that left a 12-year-old boy dead and a 14-year-old girl injured.

Eric Gregory Brown III. Photo courtesy of LBPD

Long Beach Police Chief Wally Hebeish said during a Friday morning press conference that 20-year-old Cypress resident Reshawn Strother and 21-year-old Destenee Sheree Scipio, a Long Beach resident, have been arrested in connection with the slaying of Eric Gregory Brown III.

“As a father, it pains me to think that anybody would think so little of a life, let alone the life of children, that they’d commit a crime like this,” the chief said. “I take solace in knowing that our detectives found and arrested these suspects.”

Strother and Scipio are expected to be charged with murder and two counts of attempted murder for the shooting on May 9.

That night, Brown, along with the 14-year-old and another 13-year girl, were on the sidewalk in the 2200 block of Lewis Avenue around 11:30 p.m. when they were approached by a vehicle, police previously said. People in the car then fired at the children, killing Brown and wounding the 14-year-old girl, police said.

There’s no indication Strother and Scipio knew any of the children they shot at, Hebeish said. Police believe the shooting stemmed from an earlier gang-related altercation that didn’t involve any of the children, according to Hebeish. He emphasized that none of the children were involved in gangs.

Detectives are still investigating what, if anything, the shooters said to the children before opening fire, Hebeish said.

Family members, who asked not be identified by name, react to the news that two arrests have been made in the murder of 12-year-old Eric Brown during a press conference at the Long Beach Police Department in Downtown Friday, July 7, 2023. Photo by Brandon Richardson.

Police did not elaborate on exactly what roles Scipio and Strother are accused of playing in the shooting, but Hebeish said a large team of detectives used tools like automated license plate readers and hours of security camera video to tie them to the crime.

Strother, who is a documented gang member, was already in custody on an unrelated attempted murder charge, according to police. Scipio, whom police believe is Strother’s girlfriend, was arrested Wednesday, according to Hebeish. He said Scipio has a violent criminal history, but he did not elaborate.

A boy smiles. A woman has her arm around him.
Eric Brown, shown in a photo posted by his family to a GoFundMe for funeral expenses.

Hebeish said there may be more suspects, and the investigation is ongoing. He encouraged community members to come forward with any information they may have about the crime.

A $25,000 reward remains in place for anyone who can help police identify others who were involved, officials said.

“We’re all impacted by the murder of Eric Gregory Brown III, a 12-year-old boy that had his life cut too short,” Hebeish said. “Our entire community has felt the impact of this crime, and detectives have demonstrated unwavering focus on solving this senseless murder.”