Man arrested in murder of girl, 10, fatally shot in apparent road rage incident

PHOENIX, Arizona -- A 20-year-old man was arrested in connection with the murder of a 10-year-old Arizona girl who was shot and killed in an apparent road rage incident.

Phoenix police said Joshua Gonzalez was booked Thursday on one count of first-degree murder and three counts of aggravated assault.

Investigators identified him as the suspect in the death of Summerbell Brown, who was shot while she slept in the back seat of her family's car.

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Summerbell Brown was sleeping in the back seat of a car in her family's driveway when a man behind the wheel of a white pickup truck opened fire on the vehicle, her family said.

Gonzalez allegedly opened fire on Summerbell and her family after following them home. Surveillance video shows him driving a white Ford pickup truck, following the Brown family's black car, which was driven by her father, Dharquintium Brown. Her mother, Taniesha Brown, and sister were also in the car.

Police said when the family pulled into their driveway, Gonzalez opened fire on their vehicle before taking off. Summerbell and her father were both shot. Her mother and her sister were not injured.

"He was ready to start shooting. I got out of my vehicle and I asked him 'What's going on? What's up?' because he stopped at my house and I asked him 'What's up?' He just got firing, and he shot my car, and he shot me right here, and he shot up my house and he killed my daughter," Dharquintium Brown told ABC15.
"I looked at him dead in the face. He had this deranged look like he was high on something. His pupils were dilated. As soon as I looked at him in his eyes, he just, boom-boom-boom-boom through the car. He didn't even put the gun outside the window. He shot through his door," said Taniesha Brown, Summerbell's mother.

Summerbell and her father were transported to the hospital in extremely critical condition. Summerbell later died at the hospital.

"This is heartbreaking, and I'm going to miss her. I think about her every day. The memory is going to replay in my head every day. I can't sleep. I hope she's at peace. I just really hope she's at peace," Taniesha Brown said.

The 10-year-old girl was a straight-A student who loved dancing and gymnastics.

"She was just a baby. There was no reason for her to be taken like this," Taniesha Brown said.

Dharquintium Brown was treated and released from the hosptial. He is expected to the OK.

Thanks to a tip, police located the truck involved in the incident at a home in the 6200-block of West Fairmount Street on Thursday. Phoenix police, working with agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, recovered the weapon used in the murder from inside the home.

Phoenix Police Sgt. Vince Lewis said Gonzalez has an extensive criminal history.

"Violence and so forth were part of the criminal history. That's what I can share," Lewis said. "It was the tips and the evidence that brought our attention to him on the day that we located him."

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10-year-old killed in apparent road rage shooting

Police said they were investigating whether this all started because of road rage.

"It's possible that it could've begun on the roadway just by virtue of the fact that the car was following the other so closely before they arrived," Phoenix police Sgt. Vince Lewis said.

Phoenix officials say there's no indication of a spike in road rage cases, but police urge drivers to call them if tensions are escalating on the road so that officers can help.

"Get to a safe location and if you can't, and you have the ability to make a phone call, go ahead and call Phoenix Police or call 911. Let them know that you're being followed by an aggressive driver," Lewis said.
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