Tucson mother reacts to teen's murder, suspect's arrest

Tucson mother reacts to teen's murder, suspect's arrest

CREATED Apr 6, 2011

Reporter: Steve Nuñez
Web Producer: Layla Tang

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) – Jaime Antonio Chavez, an 18-year-old man accused of shooting and killing a teenaged girl on Friday night, has been arrested.

Douglas Police received an anonymous tip and went to a house in the 800 block of east 11th Street, where they found Chavez sleeping on a living room couch.  Chavez apparently left Tucson and was hiding out in the small border town.

According to police, Chavez opened fire into a car Friday night after an altercation between some teen girls.  Sixteen-year-old Britnee Wright died from her wounds.  Another 17-year-old girl was hit, but survived.

For Britnee's mother, Dedria, news of Chavez's arrest turned her grief into anger. 

"She was my daughter.  She was very beautiful," said Wright as she held a photo of her daughter next to her heart. "And, I'm going to miss her a lot."

Wright claims police did not allow her to view her daughter's body until today.

"We didn't even get that chance to be there for her.  We didn't get that chance," said Wright.

9 On Your Side took her concern to Tucson Police.  Sgt. Diana Lopez said it's standard practice for police to deny family members access to view a victim's body until the autopsy is completed.

"There's evidence on the bodies in these types of crimes that need to be preserved," said Sgt. Lopez. "So, it's very routine."

According to police, the fight that took place at the apartment complex located behind Eastpointe High School was supposed to be between two teenage girls.  Instead, a mother of one of the girls jumped in to fight her daughter's battle.  Police said the woman got into it with Britnee, who was there to back up her friend.  After the fight broke up, a group of girls attempted to leave in a car when the situation escalated.  According to police, that's when Chavez tried to stop the car from taking off.  He then approached the car and fired several rounds into the vehicle, killing Britnee.

On Tuesday, a vigil decorated with candles and balloons marked the scene where the 16-year old died.  Brenda Wright said she wants real justice to be served. 

"He don't need the death penalty because that's too easy," said Wright. "He needs to sit in jail every day of his life and think about what he's done to my daughter."

Chavez will be brought back to Tucson where he faces several charges, including second-degree murder, aggravated assault, and discharging a firearm at a non-residential structure. Police told KGUN9 its possible more charges could be filed against him.

According to Eastpointe High School, neither Britnee Wright nor Jaime Antonio Chavez attended school there.

Police would not release the name of the mother who fought with Britnee before she was murdered, but said the woman could face charges for fighting with the teen.  Police have interviewed more than twenty witnesses and are still trying to find out exactly what happened during the fight.