Officials from Mesa Police Department have confirmed an arrest related to the fatal shooting of a high school football player.
In a brief statement, the officials reported that 18-year-old Peter “PJ” Clabron III is currently being detained on charges related to the tragic demise of Jeremiah Aviles.
Eighteen-year-old Aviles was discovered deceased on May 7. Police officers were dispatched to a residence near Gilbert Road and University Drive, following reports of a shooting shortly before 2:00 a.m. On arrival, they found Aviles lifeless inside the house.
Aviles was enrolled at Red Mountain High School. In his honor, the school’s football team posted a heartfelt tribute on Facebook, expressing their sentiments as follows: “Our hearts are with the Aviles family this day and always. We mourn the loss of Jeremiah’s beautiful spirit and honor his life in the days ahead.”
Legal Papers Shed Light on Fatal Shooting Incident
Mesa Police officials have made public the court documents pertaining to Clabron. According to these documents, investigators assert that Aviles was fatally shot in Clabron’s bedroom.
“[Clabron] and one witness were present at the time of the shooting. During the initial investigation, [Clabron] and the witness made false statements about what occurred leading up to the shooting, as well as what occurred after,” read a portion of the documents. “The original witness later came forward to investigators unsolicited, and admitted that the statement they gave to investigations on scene was false.”
Mesa Police officials, in their statement, mentioned that Clabron and a witness tried to deflect the blame onto another individual who was not present in the bedroom at the time of the incident.
As the investigation progressed, authorities obtained a search warrant. This led to the discovery of a gun tucked away in a corner of Clabron’s bedroom, along with spent shell casings in the vicinity. A subsequent search warrant executed on Clabron’s phone revealed disturbing videos of Clabron brandishing the gun at the victim on multiple occasions before and leading up to the tragic shooting.
As per the court documents, Clabron eventually turned himself into police custody. He is facing charges of manslaughter and two instances of unlawful discharge of a firearm. One of these alleged discharges occurred on May 6, where Clabron is said to have fired a handgun into the air from the back of a truck.
A judge has determined a cash-only bail amount of $350,000 for Clabron. If his family manages to post this bail, Clabron will be placed under house arrest.
Family of the Victim Voices Their Thoughts
Following Clabron’s arrest on May 12, the bereaved family members of Aviles are coming forward to share their perspective on the tragic incident.
“From what we’ve been told, it wasn’t planned. It was just an accident that happened,” said Aviles’ brother, Omar Aviles. “Being a football teammate, I know that he was definitely shaken by that.”
In court, however, prosecutors claimed the shooting was not merely accidental.
“There’s further information the young adults were smoking and drinking when this happened,” said an attorney.
During Clabron’s court appearance, Aviles’ mother was emotional, and lashed out.
“You went home to your mother,” Aviles’ mother was heard saying. “My baby didn’t come home from your sleepover.”
Omar, however, says he is forgiving.
“I forgive the kid. That’s what Jeremiah would want. Wouldn’t want me holding a grudge against his teammate who made a mistake,” said Omar.
The “Fatal Shooting of a High School Football Player” underscores the tragic intersection of youth, guns, and unintended consequences.