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'He was just a kid': Family of 15-year-old killed in Phoenix drive-by shooting seeking justice

A 10-year-old girl was also hit by a bullet during the shooting near 1st Avenue and Thomas Road.

PHOENIX — Phoenix police said a teenage boy has been arrested for his alleged role in a drive-by shooting that killed a 15-year-old boy in central Phoenix last week. 

Isaac Grado was in a car with his brother and his brother’s girlfriend near 1st Avenue and Thomas Road when bullets began to fly, striking the teen. A 10-year-old girl walking in the area was also hit by a bullet.

Grado was struck by gunfire three times in his back. The 15-year-old’s injuries were so severe he underwent surgery, flatlined seven times, and on the third day of fighting for his life, he died.

Late Wednesday night, Phoenix police said detectives arrested a teenage male suspect for his involvement in the shooting. Authorities said the teen was interviewed by detectives and referred to the Juvenile Corrections Center for murder. 

Grado's family told 12News, the teenage suspect who was arrested was the driver. They said they were told detectives were still looking for the shooter.  

“He was just a kid,” said Grado’s aunt. “He’s definitely going to be missed. It’s still unreal.”

While holding on tight to a photograph of his nephew, Grado’s aunt, who asked 12News not to identify her because Phoenix police have made no arrests in the case, said this tragedy has left a hole in her heart.

“He was a good kid,” the aunt said. “He would try to help anybody that he crossed in any way, whether they’re a family, friends, or just needed help in general.”

Grado had just left the barbershop and was on his way to visit his father with his brother when he was injured, the aunt said.

“They pulled into a business thinking that maybe they’re not following them. They thought maybe they were being paranoid, but as soon as they got off, they started shooting,” she said. “Two bullets exited his body, and one bullet ricocheted inside of him, and that’s what really caused a lot of damage to his body”

A bullet also struck a 10-year-old girl, who, according to a GoFundMe, was walking in the area with her mother and three siblings.

The bullet fractured two vertebrae, which remains lodged in one of them, according to the fundraiser.

The post said she is now recovering at her Flagstaff home.

Phoenix police detectives said the shooting spanned almost four city blocks where multiple businesses were also struck by gunfire.

“We don’t know if it was something that was directed specifically towards them because why would you continue shooting? Or if it was just random,” Grado’s aunt said.

The 15-year-old loved cruising with his brother, attending car shows, and spending time with his family, the aunt said. His team was the Las Vegas Raiders.

“He wanted to enlist in the military. He didn’t know yet which branch, but that was his goal, and eventually, he wanted to try and become a pilot,” Grado’s aunt said. “He deserves justice. He was just a 15-year-old kid that didn’t deserve this”

Phoenix police said the investigation is ongoing. They have not released any description of the suspect vehicle, which investigators said left the scene before they arrived.

Grado leaves behind seven siblings, who his family said, are having a hard time with his loss.

His aunt said the hardest part of all this for her is “having to plan the funeral services and knowing that he’s not going to come back.”

“I hope you turn yourself in, or if you don’t, I hope you get caught. You can’t run forever”

The Grado family has set up this GoFundMe account to help pay for the funeral expenses.

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