PD: 14-year-old boy arrested in Phoenix homicide, burglary

Posted at 11:08 AM, Aug 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-27 20:20:09-04

PHOENIX — A 14-year-old boy has been arrested on first-degree murder charges after shooting a man during a Phoenix burglary.

Phoenix police report that on August 21, they responded to a home near 16th and Van Buren streets after neighbors reported gunshots being fired.

Police located a victim with multiple gunshots on the floor of his home. The Phoenix Fire Department paramedics declared the victim, 30-year-old Diego Martinez, dead at the scene.

Outside the home, police say they found a vehicle with the driver's side door open and the engine running.

They also noticed a back window to the home had been broken out.


Witnesses reportedly told police they saw a man with arm tattoos, believed to be between 18 to 20 years old, walking from the area after the shots were fired.

Another resident provided police with security video that showed the same person walking away and placing items in a nearby garbage can. Police allegedly found the victim's wallet and phone in the trash can.

Police later found a 14-year-old boy, identified as Aaron Chavez, matching the description of the person seen in the video. The suspect reportedly had blood on his sandals and clothing, according to police.

When questioned, the suspect allegedly told police that he broke a back window to enter Martinez's home. Chavez reportedly found a weapon inside the home and was about to leave when Martinez returned. The teen ran out the front door and allegedly turned around and fired several shots into the doorway, striking Martinez multiple times, according to court records.

Chavez then removed the victim's wallet and phone, police say.

Court records show the teen then traveled by bus to 35th Avenue and McDowell Road where he threw the gun in a dumpster at Isaac Middle School.

Chavez was arrested for first-degree murder, burglary, and armed robbery. He is being charged as an adult and is being held on a $1,000,000 bond.

For context on how often juveniles are charged as adults in certain serious crimes, ABC15 reached out to the Maricopa County Attorney's Office.

They provided the following approximate numbers as it pertains to teens, ages 14-17, who are charged as an adult for violent crimes ranging from manslaughter up to first-degree murder:

2019: 10
2018: 14
2017: 10
2016: 09