OAKLAND -- A sleeping 11-year-old boy was wounded early Thursday when a barrage of bullets pierced through the walls of his family's East Oakland home in what his mother called a "senseless" act.
At least 16 shots were fired on the blue, ranch-style home in the 200 block of Makin Road at 12:59 a.m., police said, jarring the family awake.
Although there were nine others in the house at the time, Luis Dueñas Hernandez was the only one injured; the bullets missed his 16-year-old brother sleeping beside him on the lower mattress of a bunk bed.
Luis, a sixth-grader at Alliance Academy, was struck in the chest. He was taken to a hospital where he is in stable condition, police said.
His mother, Ana Hernandez, said Thursday morning that a bullet had entered his chest and is lodged in his liver. Doctors have decided not to remove the bullet for now, she said, after returning from the hospital about 8:15 a.m., still clad in the same pink pajamas she went to bed in.
The boy was awake and his father, Francisco Dueñas, was by his side, the mother said. Luis will likely be in intensive care for about three days, she added.
The area has some gang activity and that is one possibility police are looking into as a possible motive. The house may also have been mistakenly targeted, police said. No arrests have been made.
Inside the neatly decorated home Thursday morning, shattered glass and a few gold shell casings lined the family's living room floor.
At least one bullet had penetrated a picture of Luis that hung on the wall in the living room. The impact knocked it to the ground, causing the glass inside the frame to shatter.
Two bullets struck the wall beside Luis' bunk, according to his 13-year-old sister, Angelina. The gunshots first sounded like fireworks to her, but when she came out of her bedroom, a wounded Luis was running around in circles, she added.
"He said he couldn't take the pain, that he wanted to fall down and just sleep," she said.
Luis was one of 11 people in the house at the time of the shooting, along with his parents, two brothers, three sisters, two uncles, and grandmother.
Luis' soft-spoken brother, Francisco Duenas Jr, said he remembered going to bed in the bottom bunk beside his little brother, who slept closest to the wall.
The teen woke up on the floor, with his uncle -- who slept in the top bunk -- on top of him shielding him from the haul of gunfire.
Another uncle, Jouquin Hernandez, 39, was sleeping on the couch when the shooting happened. As Luis' parents rushed to help their son, Jouquin went outside and spotted a white four-door car speeding down the block, he said.
Jouquin Hernandez said it was the first time he could remember someone being shot on the street. There had been gunfire on July 4, he said, but it was just "kids" firing guns into the air.
Luis Valencia, 11, who lives down the street, stood across the street Thursday morning, staring at the Hernandez home surrounded by a chain-link fence. He said he was sad that the calm boy he called his best friend was hurt.
The boy said his friend, who liked soccer and video games, kept out of trouble.
"I don't know why this happened," said Luis Valencia, as he stood next to his young brother who shook his head.
A spokesman for the Oakland school district, said that Cheryl Lana, the principal at Alliance Academy where Luis is a student, visited each classroom Thursday to tell students what happened and what counseling services were available. Counselors with the district's crisis response team came to the school, said district spokesman Troy Flint.
Flint said he has responded to so many horrific incidents of violence, it's hard to find the right words.
"The number of innocent children who've been shot, who haven't done anything to precipitate this violence, is staggering and disturbing."
Police and Crime Stoppers of Oakland are offering up to $10,000 in reward money for information leading to the arrest of the gunman. Anyone with information may call police at 510-238-3821 or a tip line at 510-773-2805 or Crime Stoppers at 510-777-8572 or 510-777-3211.
Staff writers Daniel Jimenez and Katy Murphy contributed to this story.