The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office has filed murder charges against three people accused of shooting into a car on I-880 on April 8 and killing a young girl from Santa Clara. Eliyanah Crisostomo, a Central Park Elementary School student, was riding in the third-row of her family’s car on the way to a family dinner around 6:40 p.m. when the car was hit by gunfire. The District Attorney’s Office says the bullet pierced the young girl’s heart.
“My heart goes out to Eliyanah’s family. There is no reason young children should die on our Bay Area freeways,” said Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Y. Price. “This behavior is absolutely unacceptable. We will not stand for gun violence and these three defendants will be held accountable for their despicable actions.”
Police arrested Humberto Anaya, Kristo Ayala Valderrama and Emmanuel Sarango in connection with Eliyanah’s death. All three face murder charges. They also face seven counts each of shooting at an occupied vehicle. They were arrested in Santa Clara County.
The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office says all three people are members of a gang and fired into the car because they thought it belonged to a rival gang. They are accused of flashing gang symbols before firing.
Investigators say the three were also involved in an assault earlier that day in Fremont. They are all charged with felony assault with a semiautomatic firearm in connection to that crime. Ayala and Anaya also face charges of carrying a concealed firearm within a vehicle and felony carrying a loaded firearm on one’s person in a city.
According to investigators, about 15 minutes before Eliyanah was shot, Fremont police responded to a call on Fremont Boulevard for a report of a shooting. The victim was walking on Fremont Boulevard when the suspect vehicle drove by. Investigators say one of the people in the vehicle “commented” on the victim’s red clothing. That’s when they shot at the victim as he ran away. The victim was not injured.
Santa Clara Unified School District is not in session this week because of spring break. Last week, the district provided counselors for the students and staff at Central Park Elementary School affected by the loss of a classmate, friend and student. During its Thursday Santa Clara Unified School District Board of Trustees meeting, the District took the time to mourn the loss of young Eliyanah.