Xbox teen’s death: ‘The family is absolutely devastated … at a loss for words’ – azcentral.com
Candles burned at a memorial site created on the driveway where Miguel Navarro had died four days earlier.
A framed photo showedÂ aÂ recent photo of Navarro holding a stuffed rhinoceros, alongside a photo of a younger Navarro in a football uniform. A bouquet of bright yellow flowers satÂ on top of the gravel, surrounded by two teddy bears and a balloon that read, âYouâre #1.â
Family friendÂ Carolina Viniegra, 33, stood looking at the site, with her misty eyes cloaked in sunglasses.
She trembled as she explained that she was âlike a second momâ to Navarro, a kid she had watched grow up for the past five years. She had become close friends with Navarro’s mother when they became neighbors in Glendale.
âHe was such an amazing, sweet boy who was so spontaneous and funny,â Viniegra said. âI canât believe this senseless act over a video game killed him. I canât believe it.â
He had recently turned 16.
Navarro, who thought he hadÂ arranged to sell an Xbox gaming console through an online service, wasÂ shot in the back Sunday, andÂ an Avondale man has been arrestedÂ in connection with his death.
Navarro leaves behind his mother and a younger sister, a little girl who hasnât quite grasped that âher heroâ is gone, Viniegra said.Â He was the man in the family, always looking out for his loved ones.
He was very respectful and never got into trouble,Â Viniegra said.Â Most of Navarro’sÂ time was spent playing video games, she said, letting out a small laugh.
âI would say, âMijo, youâre going to kill your brain cells.â”
But she said Navarro was a smart kid, andÂ hisÂ gaming talent wasÂ obvious. He was known in the video-game community as “theÂ Hacker,â ViniegraÂ said.
“The family is absolutely devastated. They’re at a loss for words,” she said.
Since his death, they have relocated to another family member’s home.
Viniegra said the last time she spoke to Navarro was last week, on his 16th birthday. She had stopped by to see him and to give him a hug, she said.
âI said âBe good. Stay out of trouble, OK?,’ “Â Viniegra said.
âI will,â he had replied.
Family and friends are planning aÂ candlelight vigil at 7 p.m. Friday near Â 67th Avenue and Mountain View Road, close to Navarro’s house. HisÂ family has set up aÂ GoFundMe accountÂ to raise money to pay for his funeral expenses. Services wereÂ expected to take place next week.
A planned Xbox saleÂ gone wrong
Peoria police and paramedics were called to the house shortly before 5 p.m. FridayÂ and found a neighbor performing CPR on Navarro, who was bleeding on his driveway. He was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead later that night.
According to a neighbor who witnessed the confrontation, a single shooter fled on foot before driving away in a car that was identified as a gold Dodge Durango by multiple surveillance cameras.
A search ofÂ Navarroâs phone produced a series of texts between him and an unknown number discussing the sale of an Xbox, according to court documents. The number led investigators to another phone registered with OfferUp belonging to Pedro Claro-Fernandez.
Police staked out a residence connected to Claro-Fernandez and on TuesdayÂ observed a man matching the suspect’s descriptionÂ pulling up in a gold Dodge Durango.
Aaron Ott, 19, of Avondale, was being held in a Maricopa County jail on suspicion ofÂ first-degree murder and armed robbery in Navarro’s death. His bond was set at $1 million.
According to police and court documents, when Claro-Fernandez was brought in for questioning, he told investigators that Ott had asked him to install anÂ app on his phone in order to find a new video-game system. The two discoveredÂ Navarro had posted his Xbox for sale onÂ OfferUp, an online site to buy and sell items locally. TheyÂ set up a time on Sunday to meet.
Claro-Fernandez told police he was shocked to hear gunshots while he waited in Ottâs motherâs vehicle, while Ott went to make the exchange. He said he didnât know Ott was carrying a firearm.
He said Ott told him that he shot Navarro when he refused to give him the Xbox, and according to the police report, he said Ott asked him to hold onto a backpack containing the Xbox because Ott did not want to get caught with it.
When brought into questioning, Ott told police that while he did not know what happened at the house because he was high on marijuana, he did not shoot Navarro, the report said.
He told police it was all Claro-Fernandezâs idea.
According to the police report, an Xbox, aÂ video gameÂ and a gun magazine with .45-caliber ammunitionÂ were found at Claro-Fernandezâs residence. The bullets matched a shell casing found on the ground where Navarro lay.
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