Ice cream truck driver shot in Avondale; 2 in custody

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

AVONDALE, Ariz. -- The driver of an ice cream truck is in the hospital with gunshot wounds.

Avondale police said two Hispanic males walked up to the truck near Central Avenue and Brinker Drive around 1:30 p.m. Thursday. One of the males produced a weapon and demanded money from the driver.

As the driver turned away, he was shot in the right upper torso.

The driver and his wife were both inside the truck at the time, but only the man was hit. As of Friday morning, he was listed in stable condition at St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix.

The suspects fled through the neighborhood. At least three schools were put on lockdown as police searched the area.  

Officers arrested a juvenile suspect and an accomplice Thursday evening. Further investigation into the second suspect involved in the shooting is under way.

Neighbors call the victim kind-hearted and said he would help children who were short on change.

"He'd always tell them to pay him back some other time. He's an awesome guy," said Sandra McElhaney, who lives in the area.

"He always works with my mom," said the victim's daughter, Jeannete Flores. "He's been doing this 15 years and has never had a problem."