West Phoenix gas station worker shot, killed teen in group of shoplifters, court docs say

Julian Soto, 18, has been arrested after a west Phoenix shooting that happened Saturday night.
Julian Soto, 18, has been arrested after a west Phoenix shooting that happened Saturday night.(Phoenix Police Department)
Published: Jan. 17, 2023 at 11:30 AM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- New details have been released about the death of a teen boy after a shooting at a west Phoenix gas station Saturday night.

According to court documents, officers responded to the Chevron gas station near 43rd Avenue and Thomas Road around 9:30 p.m. When they arrived, they learned that Julian Francisco Soto, 18, had been working as a clerk when a group of boys entered the store and apparently took off after taking several food items without paying. At that point, investigators say, Soto chased after them and fired a gun.

Detectives say at least one gunshot hit 15-year-old Bryan Perez, who later showed up at an area hospital before dying from his injuries. Over the course of the investigation, police learned that Soto had changed his clothes to alter his appearance and hid evidence connected to the shooting. They also noted that Soto never made contact with officers when they arrived after the shooting broke out.

Soto now faces a count of 2nd-degree murder, tampering with physical evidence, firearm discharge, and aggravated assault.