Young man charged with fatally shooting 15-year-old during car ride

An 18-year-old man, Gabriel Hernandez, has been charged with the shooting of his 15-year-old acquaintance during a car ride over the weekend in Tolleson, Arizona.

According to reports, the unidentified teen was transported to Banner Estrella Medical Center early on Sunday for his injuries. However, he was later pronounced dead.

Legal documentation reveals the young victim was seated in the front passenger seat, with his mother at the wheel. In the backseat sat the mother’s two other adolescent sons and Hernandez, the family friend. It was reported that Hernandez was directly behind the victim.

They were driving near 99th Avenue and Lower Buckeye Road when Hernandez reportedly grabbed a handgun from his waistband and shot a single round. The bullet struck the victim in the back, according to investigators.

Hernandez reportedly seemed remorseful, claiming he didn’t know the gun was loaded. As the mother hurriedly drove her injured son to the hospital, Hernandez unexpectedly leaped from the moving vehicle at an intersection and took off.

Hernandez’s whereabouts remained unknown until nearly eight hours after the incident when his father reached out to the police. His father, intent on having his son take responsibility for his actions, drove him to the police station to surrender, as reported by investigators.

According to court records, Hernandez claimed that he was trying to retrieve the firearm from the vehicle’s floor when the gun discharged, injuring the victim. He confessed to abandoning the vehicle and fleeing the scene, with the firearm purportedly slipping from his waistband and landing in the dirt.

Hernandez now faces a charge of second-degree murder.