SAN DIEGO (CNS) – Three teens suspected in the fatal shooting of a 14-year-old boy in the Mount Hope neighborhood pleaded not guilty Thursday to murder charges.

Bryan Escobedo, 18, Ethan Peaslee-Guerrero, 19, and Omar Morales, 18, were arrested on suspicion of murder along with a 17-year-old boy, whose name was not released because of his age, in connection with Monday’s deadly shooting.

A second 17-year-old arrested Wednesday afternoon is believed to be the shooter, Deputy District Attorney Matthew Carberry said at the adult defendants’ arraignment Thursday afternoon.

The two juvenile suspects still await their first court appearances. The three adult defendants remain in custody without bail following Thursday’s arraignment.

Officials have not disclosed a suspected motive for the shooting, though the criminal complaint includes gang allegations.

The shooting occurred around 4:15 p.m. near the intersection of 36th and J streets. The victim, who was shot at least one time, died at a hospital, according to San Diego police.

Officials have not released his name, but family members have identified him to numerous media outlets as Erick Balanzar.

“We want justice,” Balanzar’s sister Perla Balanzar told FOX 5. “We want them to pay for what they did. He was a little kid. He was only 14, barely starting to enjoy life. He didn’t even reach the 15s and they are already grown-ups – 18, 19, 17.

“They know what they were doing – so we just want justice for what they did to my little brother.”

According to police, the victim was walking with a group of people on 36th Street near J Street when at least one gunshot was fired from a silver SUV.

“The vehicle sped away but the plate was reported to police,” SDPD Lt. Jud Campbell said.

Campbell said the license plate was traced to a Toyota Highlander that was spotted earlier Monday at a fight attended by a large crowd at 1155 C St.

At around 3:35 p.m., San Diego Unified school police requested SDPD assistance in responding to the incident, at which point, “some of the members of the crowd left in the silver Toyota Highlander,” Campbell said.

At 5:07 p.m., the vehicle was located at 4600 Utah St., with Escobedo, Peaslee-Guerrero, Morales and the 17-year-old near the vehicle, according to the lieutenant.

When officers approached, two of the suspects ran and two were detained, Campbell said, with the runners eventually located in a nearby apartment and taken into custody.

The second juvenile suspect was arrested just after 1 p.m. Wednesday during a traffic stop near Interstate 805 and El Cajon Boulevard, according to Campbell, who did not disclose how the minor was identified as a suspect.

Copyright 2022, City News Service, Inc.

FOX 5’s Clara Benitez contributed to this report.