Two teens die following birthday party shooting, 4 others injured

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- Two teens died Sunday after a shooting took place at a birthday party in Phoenix.

Police said Jason Jonathan Acosta-Ramos, 18, and Elliseo Cantu, 16, were fatally wounded while attending the event near Cactus Road and 25th Avenue.

A second 16-year-old was hospitalized in extremely critical condition, while a 17-year-old and 18-year-old suffered life-threatening injuries.

A 21-year-old was also shot, but police said that person’s injuries were not life threatening.

Police said the party, which allegedly included underage drinking, was breaking up early Sunday morning when some sort of altercation occurred.

An unknown vehicle drove by and someone opened fire on a group of people who were leaving.

Homeowners who live nearby woke up to gunfire.

"It was really rapid," said James Hernandez, who lives around the corner.  "Sounded like unloading, quite a few loud bangs."

"I heard a little bit of arguing, then pop, pop," said Denise Nance, who also lives in the neighborhood.

Detectives are still trying to determine what led up to the shooting.  Police have not released information about the suspect or suspect vehicle. Investigators are still working to locate and talk to witnesses.

Police say the party was being held in honor of Acosta-Ramos' 18th birthday.

"He was the best person," said Luis Urena, a friend of Acosta-Ramos, who also attended the party at the victim's home. "There were a lot of people here.  They just started fighting; I don't know about what.  His dad kicked us out."

Police say as the group spilled into the street, the unknown suspect vehicle drove by, and someone inside opened fire on the crowd.

Four of the victims were also transported to the hospital, while the other victim attempted to drive himself to medical treatment.

Friends say they don't know why Acosta-Ramos' party would have been targeted.

"He never started any problems," Urena said.  "[He was] just a good person."

"It's so close to home," James Hernandez said of the gun violence. "Scary to go outside these days."

Police are now asking for the public’s help identifying the person or people responsible for the shooting.

Anyone with any information can call the Phoenix Police Department Violent Crimes Bureau at 602-262-6141 or Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS or 480-TESTIGO for Spanish.