A grisly find in an Alameda Public Garden tended to by teenagers.
One of two suspects is in custody.
Many will be surprised at who is accused of committing the crime.
Teens who care for 18 chickens made a gruesome discovery on Sunday.
Only six remained alive, and one missing after someone broke into the coop in this community garden, grabbed a shovel from the tool shed and bludgeoned 11 chickens to death.
12 years old Malachi Martin said, “it was sick, 'cause like, who would kill chickens?"
The garden is run by the Alameda Point Collaborative which serves hundreds of formerly homeless families on what was once the alameda naval air station.
The shocking news is rippling through the community.
12 year old Cary Proctor said, “I wanted to cry and was holding back tears because I used to go out every morning and feed the chickens."
A group of teenagers care for the chickens and sell their eggs in a program that teaches them about nutrition and business skills.
The chickens were at a crucial stage of maturity before they were killed.
Executive Director of the Alameda Point Collaborative Doug Biggs said, “The chickens were just reaching the point where they'd start laying eggs and the kids have been using the money for a lot of their social activities - like doing a camping trip and thanks giving meal for the community."
Police arrested a 12 year old boy from Oakland this morning.
Apparently, he was staying with a friend in the area, when an officer spotted him.
Sergeant Wayland Gee with the Alameda Police Department said, “He was blaming other juveniles, but the juvenile was witnessed hurting the chickens with sticks and shovels."
The suspect was charged with cruelty to animals, and released to his parents, to appear later in juvenile court.
Officers are looking for a second suspect, a friend of the first.
Biggs says he'd eventually like the offenders to learn the responsibility of growing chickens, “the child obviously has issues and I'd like to see those issues addressed. I'm not for retribution. I'm for learning."
For now, he's thankful for a school's donation of ten chicks last Friday, since the youth program will need to raise new chickens to replace the ones that were killed.
Police Officers Association is also collecting donations, to help pay for older chickens that can lay eggs now, so the teenagers can raise money for their activities