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17-year-old arrested in teen's fatal shooting in Brighton park

Police arrested the suspect at his family's Commerce City home – witnesses heard arguing before they heard the shots in Ken Mitchell Park.

BRIGHTON, Colo. — Police arrested a 17-year-old boy in the shooting death of another teen that happened at a Brighton park on Tuesday night. 

Josiah Gonzales, 17, was fatally shot around 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday at Ken Mitchell Park, located at 889 Kinglet Ct., Brighton Police Department (BPD) said.

BPD announced the arrest on Twitter:

Gonzales had just started a new job and had dreamed of becoming a truck driver like his grandpa. Now, none of those things will happen.

"The worst pain that nobody ever wants to go through, burying their own kid," said Josiah's mother Ashley Huerta. "He was so full of life. He had a life ahead of him."

RELATED: Man charged with murder in fatal crash with pedestrian on Broadway

When officers responded to the park Tuesday night they found Gonzales with a gunshot wound and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Witnesses reported hearing an argument between Gonzales and an unknown suspect before hearing gunfire. Detectives worked overnight interviewing witnesses and gathering evidence, but they need more to go on.

"That’s part of our investigation, trying to gather any kind of evidence including video surveillance to see if that can help us paint a picture or really tell the story of what happened in the park prior to the shooting," said Monce Portilla, spokesman for BPD.

Huerta said her son had just started working at Ace Hardware and has two younger brothers. She also said he had been threatened in the past.

"I don’t know what the beef was," she said. "I don’t know. He just ignored it and said, 'They wasn’t going to do nothing mom. Don’t worry about it.'"

"The police can’t do their job without the public’s support, or can’t do their job effectively," said Monce Portilla, spokesman for BPD. "So if somebody saw something, we’ll absolutely rely on their eyewitness account."

Josiah's mother also encouraged anyone who saw something to come forward.

"He was only 17 … he had a whole life ahead of him," she said. "He wanted to become a truck driver like his grandpa. He just got his first job. He was going to be a senior next year. I want justice for my son."

The suspect is being held at the Prairie Vista Juvenile Detention Center in Brighton. The case will be presented to the district attorney’s office later this week for the filing of formal charges.

RELATED: 2 officers hit by suspect vehicle in Denver

Credit: KUSA

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Metro Denver Crime Stoppers  

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867 or visit metrodenvercrimestoppers.com. Tipsters can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $2,000.

Metro Denver Crime Stoppers works by assigning a code to people who anonymously submit a tip. Information is shared with law enforcement, and Crime Stoppers is notified at the conclusion of the investigation.

From there, an awards committee reviews the information provided and, if the information leads to an arrest, the tipster will be notified. Rewards can be collected using the code numbers received when the tip was originally submitted.

> More information about Metro Denver Crime Stoppers can be found here. 

> Additional Crime Stoppers bulletins can be found here. 

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