The Central Park Elementary School community is in mourning after learning that a kindergarten student died over the weekend. 5-year-old Eliyanah was shot and killed on Saturday night while in the family’s car on I-880. She and her family were going to a birthday dinner according to the family’s GoFundMe page. The page says that the young girl died within seconds of being shot.
The Santa Clara Unified School District (SCUSD) has provided students with counseling services to help them process the sudden death of a classmate.
“We are devastated by the tragic and senseless loss of young Eliyanah – our hearts are with her family, friends, and the Central Park community,” said SCUSD Superintendent Gary Waddell in a statement. “We deployed a district crisis team this morning to support her fellow students and their families, as well as our staff, and have increased counseling support for her school community for as long as needed. We are all heartbroken to lose such a bright young sole as Eliyanah and Santa Clara Unified joins her family, friends, and community in their grief and will be there to support the through this difficult time.”
The California Highway Patrol (CHP) closed down the southbound lanes of I-880 near the Fremont and Milpitas border on Tuesday to revisit the scene of the shooting. A CHP spokesperson says it’s common in investigations like these to revisit the crime scenes.
According to a statement from the CHP, the family approached an officer on I-880 around 6:40 p.m. on Saturday evening to tell the officer that “a child in their vehicle was struck by gunfire.”
The CHP has not made any arrests in this incident. Investigators are looking for the public’s assistance in finding additional details surrounding the shooting. Please call the CHP investigation tipline at (707) 917-4491 if you know anything.
SCUSD says it will continue to support the school community, including students and teachers for as long as is needed.
“Eliyanah was a fun-loving little girl who loved life, had a giving heart, close with her three siblings, especially her brother who were 11 months apart,” according to the family’s GoFundMe page. “Both were so excited for Easter before the family was torn to pieces by this tragic event. Eliyanah would have been 6 on the 21st of April.”