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

Petition to stop new cell tower too close to Kelowna homes

An online petition was started to stop cell tower construction near Ellison Elementary School

Local Kelowna project tabs restaurant workers for industry fundraiser

The 2nd Hungry Games invites fundraises for local charities

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Clear skies and pushing 20 C

Environement Canada forcasts a sunny and warm Easter weekend

Peeling away: OK strip clubs disappearing

Hear from Penticton’s only strip club owner about their success in a dying industry

Berry: Sayonara journalism, it’s been fun

Lake Country had more in store than I bargained for

Update: Fire destroys Peachland home on Somerset Avenue

Crews are still on scene pumping water onto the blaze

Cuteness overload: duckling thinks dog is its mom

Vernon photographer Fiona Hook shot a cute video after noticing one of her ducklings had taken a special liking to her dog.

Fire near Vernon airport “not a concern”

Vernon firefighters attended the scene and found a resident performing a controlled burn

Sons of Anarchy’s Kim Coates stops by Okanagan café

Coates was spotted in West Bank’s Kekuli Café on April 20

B.C. women make 2,200 cabbage rolls for charity

The money raised was donated to former NHL player Aaron Volpatti, who is raising funds for ALS

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

B.C. mom wages battle to get back four kids taken from her in Egypt

Sara Lessing of Mission has help from Abbotsford law firm

B.C. mountain biker sent home from hospital twice, despite broken vertebrae

Released in Maple Ridge to go home with three fractured vertebrae

Seven tips to travel safely this Easter long weekend

An average of three people are killed, and hundreds more injured, each Easter long weekend in B.C.

Most Read