MESA, Ariz. — Jeremiah Aviles was set to graduate high school in about three weeks. Instead of planning the celebration, his family is forced to plan his funeral.
The 18-year-old Red Mountain High School senior was killed on Sunday and another student has been arrested for allegedly being involved in Aviles' death.
Mesa police found the teenager dead inside a residence that was not his home near Gilbert Road and University Drive after police responded to reports of a shooting.
On Thursday, Mesa police said they had arrested 18-year-old Peter Clabron III for allegedly shooting Aviles.
Aviles was reportedly part of his school’s football team.
“We mourn the loss of Jeremiah’s beautiful spirit and honor his life in the days ahead,” the school’s football team wrote in a statement.
What we know about Aviles’ death
Mesa police said the student-athlete was visiting the home when he was killed. Family members and friends were reportedly present at the time of the shooting.
Aviles, Clabron, and a third person were in one of the home's bedrooms. Police said officers obtained video footage of Clabron allegedly pointing a gun several times at Aviles before shots were fired.
“He had his whole life ahead of him,” said neighbor Alex Myer. “It’s sad to hear; it was heartbreaking.”
Myer lives two houses from where the high school student was gunned down. He did not know Aviles.
“I heard about two gunshots. It sounded like fireworks… all of a sudden, I heard sirens about five minutes later. I thought it was all on a different street. I came out here and there were just cops everywhere in front of my house,” Myer said.
Police arrived at the home around 2 a.m.
“I heard at one point the cops telling the teens on the street that he gasped, so he [was] breathing,” Myer said. “[Medics] went in the home with a stretcher, but they brought it out empty.”
Aviles was declared dead at the scene.
Court records show Clabron allegedly blamed someone else for shooting Aviles before a witness told police that Clabron was handling the gun when it was discharged. The witness said Clabron looked "surprised" when the gun was fired.
Police said Clabron is facing charges of manslaughter and unlawful discharge of a firearm.
Remembering Jeremiah Aviles
The 18-year-old is being remembered as a kind soul with a beautiful spirit.
His family shared photos of Aviles’ younger years, laughing and smiling.
Aviles’ classmates decorated his school’s parking spot. They painted it sky blue and white. They wrote handwritten messages, his jersey number #24, and placed flowers.
The school’s football team and his family are set to hold a vigil to honor Aviles’ memory on Wednesday at the school.
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