The teenager accused for shooting six times and killing his friend, a young father of two toddlers, was finally arrested few days after the shooting incident that took place earlier this month. The shooting suspect is charged with first-degree murder and held in jail.
“He was telling me ‘I love you,’ and then the next thing you know: He’s on the floor bleeding to death, and there was nothing I can do,” D. Parks, the deceased’s girlfriend told local NBC affiliate KVOA.
According to authorities, the deadly shooting incident took place earlier this month when the suspect, identified as the 16-year-old G. Pichardo, shot six times and killed his friend the 23-year-old A. Franco following an argument in front of apartment complex in Arizona.
Right after the shooting, the shooter fled the scene on foot and authorities, including K-9 unit and the TPD’s aircraft, were unable to immediately locate and apprehend him. He was on the run for a few days until last Thursday, when authorities finally located and arrested him.
Investigators confirmed that the shooter and suspect knew each other, but were unable to determine the motive behind the shooting. The incident happened outside apartment complex while the victim’s family, his girlfriend and two baby daughters, were waiting in the car and were just about to leave. The victim that day was about to start his new job.
Parks, victim’s girlfriend, told authorities that Franco and Pichardo had short argument before the shooting. At one point Pichardo took his handgun out and Franco jumped in front of his vehicle with his family inside to protect them from the shooter. The vehicle was just steps away from them.
Pichardo fired a total of six bullets. Franco’s wife and toddler girls witnessed the whole incident that happened in front of their eyes.
When first responders arrived at the scene, the suspect already had fled the scene and they were unable to locate him immediately. The victim was in critical condition. He was transferred to hospital with serious injuries where he later died.
“He was shot a total of six times with the last two bullets hitting his body as he jumped in front of his daughters to protect them,” the woman who organized the GoFundMe campaign in his honor and to help the family with the funeral expensed said.
“My little girl was crying for almost 48 hours non-stop,” the grieving mother told KVOA. “She cried herself to sleep. She cried when she woke up. She just stopped crying about a couple days ago.”
The single mother addressed the suspect in bitter terms.
“You put a lot of people in pain and you took a really good man and a great father from this world, who did not deserve to go,” Parks said.
The suspect was arrested and charged with one count of first-degree murder. He was held in jail without bond.