JONESBORO — Clayton County police said a Forest Park man admitted to shooting a 13-year-old boy while trying to steal a truck Monday.
Officer Phong Nguyen said police arrested Gilberto Gomez, 18, of Forest Park and Sergio Alvear, 18, of Atlanta Thursday. They were to make their first appearance in Clayton County Magistrate Court. Nguyen said Gomez admitted to firing the shots that killed Steven Galindo.
“During the investigation, the suspects admitted the reason for the shooting and for being at the location, was to steal the victim’s truck,” said Nguyen.
Nguyen said the firearm used in the shooting was reported stolen out of Cobb County.
Clayton County Police Department is still working several leads and possible arrests and charges are still pending, he said.
Clayton County Juvenile Court Chief Judge Steve Teske said the two suspects have juvenile records. “Both were sentenced in 2010 to a Youth Detention Center or YDC, and both served over two years for gang related-activities,” he said. “We believed that they had to be removed from the community at the time due to their dangerous risk to the community. Regardless of our detention alternative programs, there are times we have no choice but to remove kids from the community.”
Teske said the loss of life was “sad.”
“Once the gang life in the blood, its hard to get it out,” he said.
Teske is a pioneer in using alternatives to confinement as ways to handle juvenile criminals.
Nguyen said police responded about 11:05 p.m. Monday to 415 Sylvia Drive in reference to an armed robbery. Witnesses told police that the teenager, Galindo, was putting air into the tire of his sister’s vehicle when a red SUV pulled up and two Hispanic males exited.
Nguyen said the two suspects demanded keys and the victims’ belongings. The sister handed over the keys and one of the suspects snatched a necklace from her neck, he said.
One of the suspects tried to start the victim’s vehicle but it didn’t start, said Nguyen. Then, one of the suspects began shooting at the two victims and their vehicle. The brother and sister tried to run away but Galindo was hit and died at an area hospital, he said.
Both men are being held without bond in the Clayton County Jail. Gilberto is charged with murder, criminal damage to property in the second degree, armed robbery, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, theft by receiving stolen property.
Alvear is charged with murder, aggravated assault, armed robbery, criminal damage to property in the second degree and giving a false name to police officers.