Police: Boy kills friend, makes up story - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Police: Boy kills friend, makes up story

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Posted: Monday, December 7, 2009 2:24 pm | Updated: 2:31 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

An 18-year-old Mesa Mountain View High School student was killed Sunday after his friend "recklessly" handled a handgun, causing it to discharge inside a home.

Police said they were initially called to a home in the 5600 block of West Butler Street in Chandler to a scene involving a burglar who had shot someone.

When officers arrived, they saw that Jeremy Reed was struck by a bullet. He later died at a nearby hospital from a gunshot would to the head, said a spokesperson from the Maricopa County Medical Examiner's Office.

Jeremy Reed

Police said 17-year-old Cruz J. Armijo, a Westwood High School student, fired the gun from inside the home. He told police that a burglar fired one round into the home and he had returned fire.

Police said Cruz took a different gun and fired rounds out a back window to make it look as though a burglar had been there.

Another high school student was in the home at the time of the shooting as well, police said.

Cruz was booked into a Maricopa County juvenile facility on one count of manslaughter and five counts of unlawful discharge of a firearm. He will be charged as an adult, according to court records.

Reed's death marked the second teenage fatality in the East Valley from a weapon in less than two weeks, allegedly both at the hands of a 17-year-old.

On the morning of Nov. 26, Alexander Niazi, 17, of Gilbert, was pronounced dead from multiple stab wounds he allegedly received during a fight at a party at the Superstition Villas apartments in Mesa.

Frank Aguilar, also 17, told police he was able to get an 8-inch knife away from Niazi and repeatedly stabbed him with it in the head and chest, according to police. Aguilar was arrested on suspicion of second-degree murder and attempted arson for allegedly attempting to set Niazi's body on fire, according to a police report. The two were fighting over Niazi kissing Aguilar's 14-year-old sister, according to police.

At Mountain View and Westwood high schools, counselors and staff were notified of the information Sunday evening, said district spokeswoman Kathy Bareiss.

"We had the counselors prepared so any students or staff members having a rough time, who are grieving, will be able to have somebody to talk to," she said.

Whenever there is a death of a student, the school sets off a space - a classroom, the media center or an auditorium - for students to gather and share their thoughts with one another, Bareiss said.

Bareiss had a little information about Mountain View's Reed.

"He was quite a talented art student. He was very involved in the ceramics program there," she said.

Because the tragedy involves two Mesa Unified School District students, the district will cooperate with Chandler police, she said.

"But our responsibility will be to take care of the students at Westwood and Mountain View who are suffering from the loss of their friend," she said.

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Tribune writer Mike Sakal contributed information to this article.

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