Long Beach police say officers have arrested two teenage boys in connection with the death of 17-year-old Khalil Saleem, who was gunned down in January during a drive-by shooting at Silverado Park.
The teenagers, whose names were not released because they are juveniles, were taken into custody Thursday for one count of murder and two counts of attempted murder, according to the Long Beach Police Department.
Saleem was playing basketball at Silverado Park on Jan. 21 when police say a gunfight broke out between someone driving by the park in an SUV and another person who was also on the basketball courts.
Saleem—who wasn’t involved in the gunfight—was shot in the upper body and later died at the hospital, police said. Two other men at the courts were also struck but survived; one of them has since been released from the hospital.
Detectives later identified the two teenage suspects, a 17-year-old from Signal Hill and a 16-year-old from Long Beach, as suspects in the case, police said.
The 17-year-old suspect was taken into custody in the 1500 block of Hill Street, according to police, which is near Signal Hill. Meanwhile, police say the 16-year-old was taken into custody near the 100 block of Magnolia Avenue, which is near Long Beach’s Willmore neighborhood.
Both are being held without bail, police said.
“Yesterday, two minors were arrested for the senseless shooting that resulted in the death of Khalil Salem, who was 17 years old,” said Chief of Police Wally Hebeish. “Unfortunately, gun violence continues to impact our most vulnerable populations and we will continue working with our partners to identify ways in which we can disrupt violence in our community.”
Saleem, a Lakewood High School student, was known by his peers as someone who was a friend to everyone. After graduation, he planned to join the Navy, where he hoped to play football.
Detectives will present the case to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office for filing consideration early next week.
While the investigation remains ongoing, at this time detectives believe the motive was gang-related.
Saleem was not involved with any gangs and had just shown up to the park to play basketball that day, his family said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact detectives at 562-570-7244. Anonymous tips may be submitted through LA Crime Stoppers.