PEORIA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- A Peoria family is grieving the loss of their son after he was gunned down last weekend in Avondale. The parents of James Matthew Archuleta III say the 24-year-old was shot and killed in a road rage incident.

"This just doesn't make sense. I just don't understand," says Annabelle Archuleta, Matthew's mother. "I can't imagine what he was feeling or what his last thoughts were." Matthew's father, James, says he was told a bystander stopped to help his son.

"He grabbed my son's jacket, put it under his head, and performed CPR," says James. "He made never no harm to anybody."

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Matthew didn't make it. Police would later arrest 30-year-old Gabriel Gutierrez. He's accused of a crime spree spanning several days. According to court records, Gutierrez beat up a landscaper and later assaulted a woman, tied her up, and set her home on fire.

"The bond that they set for him was only a million dollars," says James. "My son, not my son, anybody's son, their life is worth more than a million dollars."

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Loved ones are leaning on each other through this tragedy. They describe Matthew as a little guy with a big heart. He spent years playing football and wrestling, and his family says Matthew had a passion for sportsmanship.

"Win or lose, he'd put his hand out there to help the other guy up," says James.

The family will lay Matthew to rest next week, and they are asking for love and support. There are two public memorials planned. On Tuesday, visitors are welcome at Surprise Funeral Care at 1 p.m., and on Wednesday, visitors are welcome at CCV Surprise starting at 11 a.m.

"Give my son the blessings and family that he deserves because this should not have happened to him," says James.

The Archuletas have started a GoFundMe page to cover expenses.

 

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