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

PHOTOS: Staycation Stampede Style

Ponoka FCSS hosted its annual Stampede staycation event on June 18

Contact Maskwacis RCMP about missing Antoine Mackinaw

Maskwacis RCMP seeking public assistance in locating male

AMBER ALERT: Alert cancelled after child located safe and unharmed

Alert cancelled after child located safe and unharmed

VIDEO: ‘Avengers: Endgame’ to be re-released with new footage

‘Avatar’ holds global box office record at $2.788 billion, while ‘Endgame’ stands at $2.743 billion…

More than 700 wildlfire evacuees in Alberta can soon return to Metis community

Evacuees from the Paddle Prairie Metis Settlement can safely return starting on Thursday

B.C. files second legal challenge against Alberta over turn-off-taps law

B.C. government filed a second lawsuit against Alberta on June 14

Tax credits, penalizing big polluters, key to Conservative climate plan

Canada’s commitment is to cut emissions to 70 per cent of what they were in 2005 before 2030

VIDEO: Acknowledging skeptics, finance minister vows to build Trans Mountain project

Bill Morneau said he recognizes ‘huge amount of anxiety’ in Calgary over future of oil and gas sector

Shovels could be in the ground on Trans Mountain by September, CEO says

Ian Anderson points to weeks likely required for NEB to reinstate 2016 regulatory record

Calgary man facing charges after B.C. police service dog aids in arrest

Heavy police presence results in PSD Jagger finding suspect

RCMP allows officers to grow beards

Members can now wear beards and goatees, as long as they’re neatly groomed

Wildfires have forced more than 9,000 people from homes in northern Alberta

People in other communities remain on evacuation alert and could be told to leave quickly

Most Read