Joshua Gonzalez is pictured in this April 4, 2019 booking photo provided by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. Phoenix police said Friday the 20-year-old was arrested in connection with the road rage shooting death of 10-year-old Summerbell Brown. (Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

Child shot in suspected U.S. road rage incident

Parents decry girl’s death in suspected road rage shooting

The announcement Friday of an arrest in the fatal Phoenix road rage shooting of a 10-year-old girl in her family’s driveway was of little comfort to her grieving parents.

Taniesha and Dharquintium Brown, who was also wounded, said they were thankful someone was in custody but that nothing would bring back their daughter, Summerbell. Her death started because of something “senseless,” they said.

“I hope that he suffers as much as we do,” Taniesha Brown said as she stood outside her home, steps away from their car, which had several bullet holes. “Not only did he ruin our lives, he ruined his life as well. He’s going to have to live with this the rest of his life — if he has a conscience.”

Police arrested Joshua Gonzalez after receiving a tip from the public. Gonzalez, 20, was booked into jail on one count of first-degree murder and three counts of aggravated assault. He has an “extended criminal history” involving violent crime, said Police Chief Jeri Williams, who declined to disclose details.

Williams credited tips from the public with helping investigators.

READ MORE: Kelowna Mountie injured in crash

“Our investigators were able to really close this case because the community members stepped up,” she said.

Gonzalez was arrested about 5 miles (8 kilometres) from the family’s home.

The couple said they were on their way home Wednesday evening after picking their children up from the Boys & Girls Club when they noticed another driver closely behind them. When they pulled into the driveway, Dharquintium Brown went to confront the suspect. Taniehsa Brown said she made eye contact with the driver and that’s when the shooting started.

She saw her husband was bleeding profusely and then looked in the backseat. Their 12-year-old daughter was not injured but Summerbell, who had been sleeping, clearly was.

“All I heard was her gasp out of her sleep. She was just shaking and she was trying to breathe,” Taniesha Brown said. “Then she fell over and that’s when I noticed the bullet hole in her back. She was just gasping for air.”

Paramedics tried to resuscitate her.

“They pronounced her dead at the hospital but I knew she had died right in front of my eyes,” Dharquintium Brown said.

Police have said the suspect believed the family’s car had cut him off.

After the killing, authorities made surveillance video public showing the suspect driving a white pickup truck while following the family’s vehicle.

Police found the pickup truck Thursday with its wheels changed and obtained a search warrant that led to the discovery of a handgun in a garage. Forensic evidence linked the gun to Summerbell’s killing, police spokesman Vincent Lewis said.

READ MORE: Report of erratic driver leads police to upside down sedan

Taniehsa Brown believes that Gonzalez altered the car’s appearance because he panicked at finding out there were children in the car.

The family planned to hold a vigil Friday night in front of their home. Summerbell, who also went by Summer, was a fifth-grader who loved dancing, singing and gymnastics. She loved school and made the honour roll every quarter, according to her mother.

“She was a wonderful, wonderful baby,” Taniesha Brown said.

Gonzalez was scheduled to make an initial court appearance Friday afternoon. It was not immediately clear whether he had a lawyer who could speak on his behalf.

Terry Tang, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Island residents team up on beach cleanups, call for government regulation

‘It’s way beyond what we can deal with’: Lasqueti, Texada, Denman islanders

‘A really kind person’: Parksville’s Nick Major remembered by instructor

Outpouring of support in the days following death of young man

Banners could add pop of colour to Parksville business district

District includes businesses between the Orange Bridge and McVickers Street

Last call for the ever-vanishing payphone in Parksville Qualicum Beach

Where many phones once resided, only memories remain

Developers go back to drawing board after high-rise application deferred by Parksville council

IAG Developments has proposed a multi-building development on city’s waterfront

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Canadian high school science courses behind on climate change, says UBC study

Researchers found performance on key areas varies by province and territory

Six inducted into BC Hockey Hall of Fame

The 26th ceremony in Penticton welcomed powerful figures both from on and off the ice

RCMP investigate two shootings in the Lower Mainland

Incidents happened in Surrey, with a victim being treated at Langley Memorial Hospital

CRA program to help poor file taxes yields noticeable bump in people helped

Extra money allows volunteer-driven clinics to operate year-round

Recall: Certain Pacific oysters may pose threat of paralytic shellfish poisoning

Consumers urged to either return affected packages or throw them out

How a Kamloops-born man helped put us on the moon

Jim Chamberlin did troubleshooting for the Apollo program, which led to its success

Sexual harassment complaints soaring amid ‘frat boy culture’ in Canada’s airline industry

‘It’s a #MeToo dumpster fire…and it’s exhausting for survivors’

Most Read