Masked men attack sleeping teens with hammer in Santa Cruz County home invasion

- An Aptos High School student remains in the hospital in critical condition and two of his friends recovering after the three were attacked with a hammer by masked men over the Memorial Day weekend.

The Santa Cruz County Sheriff's office says the three teenage boys were targeted in a "brazen" and "brutal" attack early in the morning of Memorial Day.

"You know this is the proverbial perfect neighborhood," said neighbor Ted Lux. "We really haven't had anything that dramatic ever. Pretty spooky."

Around 1:40 a.m. on Memorial Day, the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's office says at least three masked suspects entered the garage of a home on the 100 block of Monte Vista Drive and with a hammer began assaulting two 16-year-old boys and a 17-year-old boy, some of whom were sleeping.

"Two of them were sleeping so it was immediate. Once they came in the garage the attack happened in a space of about 30 seconds," said Sgt. Brian Cleveland. "Very quick, very violent. Suspects then stole a few items and left the garage."

Authorities say two of of the assaulted teens are students at Aptos High School.

A recovery fund has been set up on Gofundme, which identifies 17-year-old Alex T. as one of the students, and says the teen has a severe skull fracture who was placed into a medically-induced coma.

A sheriff's detective and resource officer were on the campus of Aptos High School Tuesday.

The school district says it was providing additional counselors and therapists and offering support to three additional Aptos High School students were were also at the home at the time of the attack but uninjured.

"Just the brutality of it was a surprise too. The fact that it happened and when you started getting some details as to what really did happen, that's scary stuff," said Lux.

Authorities confirm drugs were recovered but say it's too early to determine a motive.

"This is a very targeted attack. It could be for a variety of reason. We don't want to focus our investigation on just one aspect right now," said Sgt. Cleveland.

The Sheriff's office did recover surveillance video which captured what appears to be the masked men leaving in a sedan.

At this point, the only description on the suspects on the run is that they are between the ages of 18 and 20 years old.

Anyone with information on this attack is asked to call Person's Crimes Sergeant Dee Baldwin at 831-454-7635.

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