PHOENIX (AP/FOX 10) - A man suspected of fatally shooting a 10-year-old girl in her family’s driveway in an apparent road rage case has been arrested, Phoenix police said Friday.
Joshua Gonzalez has an “extended criminal history” involving violent crime, said Police Chief Jeri Williams, who declined to disclose details.
Gonzalez, 20, was arrested about 5 miles from the home of Summer Bell Brown. Police say the girl was gunned down as she sat in her parents’ car while her father confronted the suspect after he tailed the family’s car following a traffic dispute. Her father, Dharquintium, also was wounded; the bullets missed the girl’s mother and sister.
"When something happens in our community, particularly to a child, people of Phoenix step up," said Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego.
Police have said the events leading up to the killing started after the suspect believed the family’s car had cut him off in traffic Wednesday afternoon.
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.
According to @phoenixpolice - the wheels and tires had been changed out on the truck. Evidence of the gun linked to shooting of Summer Bell Brown was found in the garage. #fox10phoenix pic.twitter.com/wMVtewJzKw— Justin Lum Fox 10 (@jlumfox10) April 5, 2019
In a brief telephone interview Thursday, Dharquintium Brown called his daughter’s death “heinous” and declined further comment.
Williams credited tips from the public with helping investigators.
“Our investigators were able to really close this case because the community members stepped up,” she said.
Gonzalez is being held on a $1 million cash bond for charges of first-degree murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and evidence tampering.
GoFundMe for Summer Bell Brown