Tue. Sep 26th, 2023

An Arizona teen is accused of shooting a friend in the back and killing him while they were riding in a car over the weekend in Tolleson.

On Sunday, just after 3 a.m., a 15-year-old boy was rushed to Banner Estrella Medical Center after being shot, but he later died. His name hasn’t been released.

Court documents say the victim was in the front passenger seat while his mother was driving. The mother’s other two teen sons and a family friend, 18-year-old Gabriel Hernandez, were sitting in the backseat. The victim was sitting in front of Hernandez. The five were driving near 99th Avenue and Lower Buckeye Road when Hernandez pulled out a handgun from his waistband and fired one round, hitting the victim in the back, investigators said. One of the other teen boys saw Hernandez with the gun. Court documents say Hernandez began saying he was sorry and didn’t know a bullet was inside.

The victim’s mother began driving to the hospital. However, when she reached an intersection, Hernandez opened the door and jumped out of the car, police said. He then ran off as the victim’s mother took her son to the hospital.

Just before 11 a.m., eight hours after the shooting, Hernandez’s father contacted the police and said he was going to pick up his son. He then drove Hernandez to the police station so he could turn himself in, investigators said.

Court paperwork says Hernandez claimed he was trying to pick the gun off the floorboard when he pulled the trigger, shooting the victim in the back.

He reportedly admitted to jumping out of the car and running away, claiming the gun fell from his waistband and into the dirt. A friend then picked up Hernandez before he called his father, police said.

Hernandez was booked on one count of second-degree murder.

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By Buffy Gunner

Independent Journalist + Business Owner | Lover of all things true crime. Mantra: Only YOU can be YOU. | Los Angeles Born | buffygunner@illicitdeeds.com