Family and friends talk about heartbreaking violence that killed 12-year-old boy, injured 5 others

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CLEVELAND  -- Witnesses and some of the victims' families began to publicly react Saturday to the heartbreaking violence that claimed the life of a 12-year-old boy and injured five teens.

"Last night I just prayed all night," said Erica Booker, whose son remains in the hospital.

"[He's in a] severe -- like a comatose state; he got the machine breathing for him."

Booker believes her son, Malik, 15, along with her entire family is being targeted by an unidentified shooter.

"Tuesday morning, somebody shot up my house and he was grazed in his back and here comes Friday and he's shot again," said Booker.

According to Cleveland police, the shooting began around 7:30 p.m. Friday on Buckeye between E. 116th and E. 117th.

The 12-year-old came outside with his father to see what was happening when he was shot in the chest and died.

Officials say his father owned the beauty supply store near the shooting location. The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office identified the child as Abdel Bashiti.

"He is a good kid. He's smart; he's nice," said Jamal Elayyan.

Elayyan is the manager of the liquor store next to the Bashiti family business. He tells FOX 8, over the past four years he grew close to the family. The terrifying scene is seared into his mind and will be difficult to shake.

"Two kids ran in my store saying, 'I got shot; I got shot.' I see one kid laying on the ground got shot in the face right here," said Elayyan, pointing to his cheek.

Caution tape and medical supplies still littered the ground in front of his store. It's where community leaders stood Saturday morning.

"The solution is community; we need each other," said Aaron Deangelo Knuckles, a precinct committeeman. "We not going to throw this on the police back; we not going to put it at their feet. We need to unify and police our street and our community."

According to police, the remaining victims range in age from 14 years old to 16 years old. Police believe the suspects are also juveniles. They do not believe the shooting was gang-related.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Cleveland Division of Police Homicide Unit at 216-623-5464 or Crime Stoppers of Cuyahoga County at 216-252-7463.

Meanwhile, a rally was held Saturday evening to call for justice following the violence. You can see that video, below.

Continuing coverage.

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