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Family questions police narrative in deadly shooting of 15-year-old

Posted at 7:19 PM, Jul 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-07 23:29:39-04

GLENDALE — Glendale police are walking back on some of their account on how a 15-year-old was shot and killed by police Wednesday.

Glendale PD said the incident started with undercover detectives tracking a stolen vehicle near 67th Avenue and Bethany Home Road.

"I seen everything with my own eyes," said 16-year-old Elijah Garcia. Garcia said he witnessed his cousin, 15-year-old Juancarlos Bojórquez being shot and killed by police.

Garcia and his cousin pulled into the apartment complex where he and several relatives live.

"I got in the vehicle, and like two minutes later three vehicles pull up in front of us, blocking us," said Garcia. "They hop out and they point their guns and say put your hands up."

Glendale police first told ABC15 undercover detectives were tracking a stolen vehicle.

Officers wouldn't confirm either of the teen's names, but said the 15-year-old announced a gun was in the car.

Garcia described a different sequence of events than police, saying they complied with directions and that the gun was in the middle console in a "cubby."

"They tried to get him right here by his neck," said Garcia, motioning. "They try to pull him out, but his seat belt was still on and the gun was still in the middle too. He didn't touch it or anything and then boom."

Family members claim Bojórquez was reaching for his seat belt.

Another relative said he also witnessed what happened from his balcony.

"His hands are like this they just grab him," said Alejandro Garcia. "They struggle him. They start choking him. They shoot him one time in the car. Boom. His seat belt's still on, so he couldn't reach for the gun. His hands are up, so he had no way of reaching for the gun. They pick him up. They drop him and they start shooting him more. Four more times."

Glendale police told a different story Wednesday saying there was a struggle as they tried to pull the driver out.

They also said officers thought the teen was reaching for the area where the gun was.

"It sounds like, from my understanding, that he was out of the vehicle," said Sgt. Randy Stewart. "And they went to take him into custody, and then he was reaching into the vehicle where the gun was located."

But Thursday police are now telling ABC15 in an email, "We are unsure at this time whether the suspect was ever pulled out of the car."

Police tell us this is all part of their investigation, which will be in the hands of Buckeye Police Department.

Bojórquez's family admits he wasn't completely in the right Wednesday.

"I could live with him going to jail for 10, 20 years," said Mary Martinez. "You didn't have to kill him."

The family says they are getting an attorney and will be fighting for Bojórquez.

Glendale police say there is secondary body camera footage that they will be going through as the investigation continues.

Bojórquez's family has started a GoFundMe page to help cover funeral costs.