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13-year-old killed, another teen wounded in drive-by shooting at Longmont park; suspect arrested

“It's heartbreaking to see somebody so young, go so early"
Posted: 10:58 PM, Aug 20, 2022
Updated: 2022-08-21 19:51:21-04
Zay Rosales

LONGMONT, Colo. — A 13-year-old boy is dead and another teen is recovering after they were shot in a drive-by shooting at a park in Longmont Saturday. Police arrested a 19-year-old man in connection with the shooting.

The shooting occurred around 1:49 p.m. near a basketball court at Kensington Park off Kensington Street and St. Clair Avenue, according to the Longmont Police Department.

The suspect, Yahir Solis, was arrested at 225 Kimbark Street in Longmont about 45 minutes after the shooting. The 19-year-old is being held at the Boulder County Jail on suspicion of first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder.

13-year-old killed, another teen wounded in drive-by shooting at Longmont park; suspect arrested

A witness told Denver7’s Amy Wadas she and her husband ran out of the house to see what was going on as soon as they heard gunshots at Kensington Park. She says they jumped in to try and help the boys when they spotted them on the ground.

“He (the 13-year-old boy) basically died in his arms,” said Denise Froonjian.

She says her husband cradled the boy while she held the 15-year-old, who police say is expected to survive after he was shot in the leg. The 13-year-old was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Family members identified the two boys as 13-year-old Zay Rosales and 15-year-old Elias DeHerrera. They told Denver7 the two are cousins, who acted more like brothers, and frequented the park to play sports such as basketball.

“It's been just really, really hard. I mean, I've cried so much. I can't really cry any more," said Steve DeHerrera, Elias' grandfather.

Valerie DeHerrera said she is Rosales' grandmother. Through tears, she said she does not understand what happened, and has no answers about why it happened.

“We're heartbroken, you know, just crushed. And I just hurt so much for my daughter to see her hurting so much," Valerie said. “They caught one of the guys so I mean, that's a little bit of relief. I mean, I can't say it's brings a lot of peace, because it doesn't, but I mean, it's a start.”

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Froonjian says Zay said a few words to her while she was holding him.

“He was worried about his brother. He kept saying his leg hurt,” said Froonjian.

Family and friends of the victims set up a memorial at Kensington Park. They are hosting a candlelit vigil for Rosales around 6 p.m. on Sunday evening.

The family has started a GoFundMe to help cover funeral expenses.

If you were a witness or have surveillance video from the area, Longmont Police are asking you to give them a call on their tipline at 303-774-3700.