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Hayward Police Department Crime Scene Technician Mary Marquez photographs a blood-spattered child's toy at the scene of a shooting on Seminole Way on Tuesday, Mar. 6, 2007, in Hayward, Calif. Two 4-year-old cousins were critically wounded in the shooting. (Jane Tyska/The Daily Review)

James Osborne, 80, has lived for 40 years on Mandarin Avenue, one street over from 27744 Seminole Way, where the young girls, who Tuesday remained in critical condition at Children's Hospital in Oakland, were shot.

Using his walking cane, he points out the bullet holes that mark the front of another house on his block. The neighborhood has been plagued by gang violence and drug dealing for years, he said.

At first glance, the area doesn't bear the outward signs of danger. Most houses on the block have swing sets and kids' bikes in the front yards.

But as television news reporters canvassed the area Tuesday, many residents refused to appear on camera for fear theirs would be the next house targeted.

"We don't know the motive," Hayward Police Lt. Reid Lindblom said. "If there is any history with that house or the people there, we are not going to comment at this point.

"The neighborhood in the past has had gang issues that kind of comes and goes. I do think it is premature to say this is a gang thing."

Meanwhile, some information released to the press Monday has been corrected. Seven adults, not three as originally reported, were in front of the house along with three children when gunshots erupted from the passing car, Lindblom said. The two shooting victims are cousins — not sisters.

Police have recovered a car in the area that fits witnesses' descriptions, but they have not confirmed it was the same car involved in the shooting.


Witnesses described the vehicle as a dark-colored mid-sized sedan with three men of dark complexion inside, either Hispanic or African American, according to police reports.

A 20-year-old man who said he lives around the corner and witnessed the shooting said the car had passed by the house once before to check it out before making a second pass, at which point the shooting started, he said.

"They saw there was kids outside," he said.

Isabel Alvarez, 46, lives across the street from the house where the girls were shot. This isn't the first time a house on the block has been the target of gunfire, and many older residents in the neighborhood have moved away because of the danger, she said.

When asked if she expects more violence to come from this shooting, she nodded her head yes.

Reach Alejandro Alfonso at (510) 293-2469 or at