KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Friends and family are shocked after police arrested a teenager Thursday in connection with a rolling gun battle that killed an innocent wife and mother.
Mariana Hernandez-Gonzales, 30, was thrown through the windshield and killed during a car crash near 9th and Hardesty Tuesday night, which police said was caused when her innocent family was caught in the crossfire of a shootout.
Her husband and six little children were hurt, but all are expected to survive.
The teen's grandmother turned him into police after she learned of his alleged involvement in the crime and found out he was trying to skip town, according to investigators.
“Even if he’s in jail, he knows what he did,” said Andres Salazar, Hernandez-Gonzales’ cousin. “He’s going to have all these problems on his heart. Maybe he won`t do it again because he`s locked up, but like I said, he doesn’t give anything back to us.”
Ironically, the accused boy returned to the scene of the crash one day before his arrest to look around. That’s where he talked off-camera with FOX 4’s John Pepitone, admitting he was a member of a gang, that his family was involved in the gun battle, and that his father was still in the hospital after being shot in the face.
“They want to be gangsters,” said William Ramos, a close friend to the victim’s family. “So that’s the gangster life, being in jail for a long time. I guess he’s [earned] that title.”
FOX 4 is not saying the teen's name or showing his picture because he is a minor and so far, prosecutors are staying silent on possible charges.
However, Salazar hopes the teen’s arrest serves as a cautionary tale to other troubled teens caught up in gang activity.
“Maybe the next teenager think a little bit about this,” Salazar said. “What can happen because they are mad at the time. If they think a little bit about us, about all the families [affected by] this, maybe they don`t do this again.”
FOX 4 went to the suspect's listed address Thursday for comment and talked with a woman who lives there. She claimed the teen's family was not there and had only been staying with her for a couple of months. She said she did not know anything about the crime or arrest.
The family of Mariana Hernandez-Gonzales is trying to raise money for her funeral expenses as well as the children's medical expenses. If you would like to help, visit their GoFundMe page.