Teen linked to deadly San Jose crime spree arrested

November 24, 2012 4:52:54 PM PST
The innocent victim of a violent South Bay crime spree was laid to rest Saturday by his family and friends. A funeral service was held for 22-year-old Rory Park-Pettiford, the young man who was shot and killed in an attempted carjacking last Friday.

Police had already arrested one person believed responsible for his death. And now, they say they've caught his alleged partner.

That alleged partner is only 15-years-old. San Jose police detectives got information that led them to an apartment complex in the East Bay where the boy was arrested Friday afternoon.

The news broke as many people were celebrating the life of the 22-year-old man who was killed.

Hugs and tears outside the Campbell funeral home where dozens of friends and family members shared their memories of Park-Pettiford, the young man caught up in last week's San Jose crime spree.

"I will never, ever get over this, but if he was just a friend I would never ever get over it," said the victim's father, Rory Sr. "He was such a special person, not just as a son, but as a person.

Rory's uncle Troy McCartney added, "Every day I have to stop and think about how I miss him, how I can't believe that this is true."

On Friday night of last week, Park-Pettiford was shot to death as two masked men tried to carjack him at the 7-Eleven store on South Kiely Boulevard. Police say that night the gunmen also shot and wounded a San Jose officer after committing armed robberies at four local businesses.

Police arrested 26-year-old Jonathan Wilbanks of San Jose after a short manhunt, but his alleged partner was on the loose until Friday afternoon.

That person is a 15-year-old boy from San Jose who was arrested at an apartment complex near Clayton and Kirker Pass roads in Concord.

Police have no information on the Concord connection or the relationship between the man and the teenager, "That's undetermined yet," said Officer Albert Morales. "There's nothing that either one of them provided, at least that the investigators shared with me.

Park-Pettiford's brother, Dylan, announced the arrest of the 15-year-old at Saturday's memorial service, "Me and Rory actually grew up with some of the members of the San Jose police force, and when they found out that Rory was a victim they pulled out all the stops. I'm really thankful they found both of these gentlemen."

Rory Sr. added, "Let me say to his parents that I know you're probably grieving also. Because not only did they take Rory's life, but they took away their own lives by doing such a heinous thing. My prayers go out to them. "

Wilbanks is in jail facing a capital murder charge that makes him eligible for the death penalty if convicted. The teenager is in juvenile hall on homicide and robbery charges. The district attorney will decide if the boy will be charged as an adult.

Police are not talking about a motive, and they say no reward will be handed out because none of the tips led to the arrest.


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