Teen shot whereas driving in automotive together with her household in Phoenix; suspect in custody
Family shocked after teenage boy was shot dead while sitting in a car with her mother
The shooting, which took place overnight on June 4, killed 17-year-old Eunice Rodriguez. One suspect has been arrested. Justin Lum from FOX 10 reports.
PHOENIX – Phoenix police say a 17-year-old girl was shot dead on June 4th in a vehicle near 43rd Avenue and Indian School Road.
At around 1 a.m., officers responded to a call about someone with a gun in the area. They later learned that a woman was driving around with her two children.
“She saw a grown man on the pavement and stopped her vehicle near him. The man approached the vehicle and shot the teenage passenger,” said Sgt. Andy Williams.
The suspect fled the scene and, according to police, threatened another woman nearby. He was later taken into custody.
“The teenage female victim was pronounced dead at the scene,” Williams said.
She was identified as 17-year-old Eunice Rodriguez. Francisco Sanchez, 23, was identified as the suspect.
Francisco Sanchez (Courtesy: MCSO)
The victim’s family spoke up
On the afternoon of June 4th, we spoke to Rodriguez’s mother. In the interview you can hear the pain of Eunice Despaigne when she described the fatal, arbitrary act of violence.
Despaigne picked Eunice up because her car ran out of gas. She was driving home on 43rd Avenue near the Indian School when the shooting took place.
Despaigne felt a bullet brush her chest and she thought she had been shot.
“I put my hand on my chest and said ‘Eunice, I’m hit. Eunice, I’m hit’ because I thought I was the one who was shot,” Despaigne said in Spanish.
Despaigne then called for her daughter in the passenger seat.
“When I saw that she didn’t answer me, I turned around and saw that she was no longer there,” Despaigne said.
In the car, Rodriguez’s little brother yelled to wake up. In the meantime, Despaigne stopped and asked witnesses to call the police.
“I screamed to save her,” said Despaigne. “Save her. Bring her back.”
As the investigation continues, Rodriguez’s family is dazed and wondering why the tragedy happened to them. Xitlaly Rodriguez, the victim’s older sister, says she lost her best friend.
“We grew up like this,” said Xitlaly. “We were so close. That was my baby. You don’t understand that my sister, she was my world. I just want her to know that I love her so much.”
The victim agreed to quit high school early and then train to be a nurse.
“I’m shaking. I don’t believe it. I never thought it would happen to me,” said Xitlaly.
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