Report: 8-year-old child killed in apparent drive-by shooting was at a church gathering

(KTLA) -- Homicide detectives are asking for the public's help Tuesday as they continue their search for the assailant who opened fire on a home in Pomona, shooting and killing an 8-year-old boy before getting away.

The boy was fatally struck by gunfire during an apparent drive-by shooting that occurred around 6:30 p.m. Monday in the 1100 block of West 11th Street, according to police.

The bullet hit the child in the head, the Los Angeles Times reported.

He was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead, the Pomona Police Department said in a news release.

Authorities did not immediately provide the name of the child, who police said was visiting the home for dinner with his family when approximately five shots were fired into the residence. Several other children were also present in the home at the time of the shooting, according to Pomona Lt. Eddie Vazquez.

"This is right up there with some of the more senseless acts of violence that we see as police officers," he said during a morning news conference.

Multiple holes from the bullets were still visible outside the house early Tuesday morning, video from the scene showed.

It was not immediately clear whether the home was targeted, or if the shooting was random.

Several neighbors told KTLA another home in the area had been fired upon last month, and Vazquez confirmed the incident took place at the same home where the boy was killed.

The first shooting was still under investigation.

The family has no known gang ties, Pomona Sgt. Bert Sanchez said Monday night.

Vazquez described the neighborhood as "generally ... pretty safe."

"A lot of good people live here, we're really close to schools," he said. "This neighborhood has been relatively a good place to live."

The family who lived in the home were long-term residents and were very involved with education and the community, according to the lieutenant.

One neighbor added that the family who lives at the home mostly keep to themselves.

"They don't bother nobody," he said.

No arrests have been made, and Vazquez pleaded any witnesses to step forward with information.

"If there is anyone out there that knows anything, any suspect information, any details whatsoever – however small they might seem – we would appreciate that," he said.

Police have asked the public to provide information about the shooting by calling them at 909-620-2085.

Anonymous tips can also be left through Crime Stoppers by dialing 1-800-222-8477.

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