An 18-year-old man in California is accused of attempting to cover up the fatal shooting of another teenager by telling cops he and the 17-year-old boy were the victims of a drive-by shooting, officials said.
On Sept. 5 shortly before 9:30 p.m.,the Anaheim Police Department were called to a home and found Danilo Ashton Arauz suffering from a gunshot wound, Anaheim Police Sgt. Shane Carringer said.
Detectives later spoke with Zachar Pickrell, who said he and Arauz were the victims of a drive-by shooting, but police said they began to doubt Pickerell’s story and took him into custody on suspicion of attempted murder.
Arauz was removed from life support and passed away from his injuries surrounded by family on the evening of Sept. 8.
Pickerell now faces a murder charge, and he was being held on $1 million bond.
Following Arauz’s death, Blake Goldstein wrote a tribute on Instagram to his younger brother, who went by his middle name: “Ashton, you are unlike anybody I’ve ever met. Kind, strong, smart, gentle, goofy, way cooler than me, full of joy and showed your love for us in a very special way. Our hearts [are] shattered, but we will find comfort in our memories and knowing we have an angel watching over us.”
Loved ones also paid tribute to Arauz on a GoFundMe set up to help pay for funeral expenses.
"He was a wonderful kid, always so kind and loving towards his friends and family, especially his mother Janet," the page reads, noting that Arauz's "family was able to gather around him to share their love, stories, tears, laughs and ultimately say goodbye" before he was removed from life support.
"Ashton loved to play sports, fashion, sneakers, playing video games with his friends, cook for his mom, make up his own music, and so much more," the message concludes. "He always lived with passion and excitement, Ashton was the happiest kid. He had some crazy curly hair, which matched his goofy personality. He is unlike anyone else, and will forever be missed and loved."