2nd suspect arrested in shooting death of 15-year-old in Buckeye

Buckeye police arrested 19-year-old Michael Michel on March, 15, in connection to the death of...
Buckeye police arrested 19-year-old Michael Michel on March, 15, in connection to the death of 15-year-old Brendan Valenzuela.(Courtesy of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Mar. 16, 2023 at 1:46 PM MST
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BUCKEYE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — Buckeye police say they have made a second arrest in connection with the murder of a teenage boy back in January.

Police say their continued investigation since Jan. 22, when 15-year-old Brendan Valenzuela was shot and killed, led to identifying the first suspect in February and now the second one. On Wednesday night, Buckeye police, with the aid of the U.S. Marshals Service, arrested 19-year-old Michael Michel at a home in Phoenix. Court documents obtained by Arizona’s Family detail Michel and the other suspect, a 17-year-old boy, messaging each other over social media about robbing Brendan and his brother. They were planning for over a week, documents say.

Michel told police during his interview that he was present during the shooting, documents say, and that he hadn’t planned to shoot the brothers. Michel said he didn’t know why the other suspect was shot.

During the investigation, detectives were told by the victim’s brother that he and Valenzuela drove to meet the suspects and arrived close to 3 a.m. on Jan. 22, assuming everything was friendly. He told police the 17-year-old was talking with the brothers through their window when he stepped back and allegedly pointed a gun at them. That’s when the victim’s brother tried to get away by driving. However, the suspect shot at the car as it drove away, and the brother didn’t realize that Brendan had been hit.

Michel was booked into jail on multiple charges, including 1st-degree premeditated murder. The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office will determine what charges Michel will face.