Two Clayton County teens was charged late Wednesday night in the deadly shooting of a 13-year-old boy – and both of them allegedly confessed to shooting him over a pick-up truck that they were unable to steal.
“They were upset because the vehicle would not start,” Clayton County Police Maj. Johnny Robinson told 95.5 FM WSB News/Talk Radio early Thursday morning. “And if they couldn’t get it, they made the decision that no one else would have it either.”
Mr. Gilberto Gomez, Jr., and Mr. Sergio Reyes Alvear, both 18, were charged with with felony murder in the shooting of Steven Galindo Diaz, according to Clayton County police.
They were also charged with two counts of aggravated assault, two counts of armed robbery and second-degree criminal damage, police spokesman Officer Phong Nguyen said.
Mr. Gomez allegedly confessed to being the gunman who shot Steven, Officer Nguyen said.
The shooting happened shortly after 11 p.m. Monday at 415 Sylvia Drive, police said.
Witnesses told police the teen was placing air into the tire of his sister’s vehicle when a red SUV pulled up and the two suspects exited the vehicle. They then demanded the keys and the siblings’ belongings, Officer Nguyen said.
The sister handed over the keys, and one of the suspects snatched a necklace from around her neck, Officer Nguyen said.
The second suspect attempted to crank the vehicle, but it wouldn’t start.
“At some point one of the suspects began shooting at the vehicle and the two victims,” Officer Nguyen said. “Both victims attempted to run away, however, the 13-year-old Hispanic male victim was struck and subsequently succumbed to his injuries at the hospital.”
The teen’s 22-year-old sister, Ms. Samaria Diaz, told CBS Atlanta that one man had a baseball bat and the other, a shotgun.
The suspect with the baseball bat started the hitting the truck with the bat when it wouldn’t start and the other man started shooting the gun.
“The other one just started shooting the windshield. When we heard the first shot, we tried to run,” Ms. Diaz told the news station.
“I took a few steps. He fell on the ground so I grabbed his hand so we could run together and he said, ‘Samaria, come back. I got shot,'” she said. “‘He said, ‘Ouch it hurts, it hurts.'”
Ms. Diaz stayed by her brother, trying to give him CPR, while covered in his blood. He died in her arms.
Ms. Diaz told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that although she’d had the truck for a while, she had just gotten the Chevrolet Silverado registered and insured earlier that day.
Police said the special butterfly doors, that swing up to open rather and out, is what attracted the would-be car thieves to the truck.
“Because of the doors on the truck, they thought they would enjoy the vehicle,” Robinson said.
Police canvassing the community were able to track down Mr. Gomez, and he eventually pointed them to Mr. Alvear, police said.
Maj. Robinson said neither Alvear nor Gomez seemed sorry that a child died because of their actions, the AJC reported.
“Everything at this point indicates that they did know that they shoot the kid,” Maj. Robinson said. “There has not been any remorse shown at this point.”
Investigators believe there may be another suspect who remains at large.
“We do have some leads and it is a great possibility that a third suspect is involved,” Maj. Robinson said.
Gomez and Alvear will both make first court appearances at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, according to Clayton County Magistrate Court records.
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