Two juveniles arrested in connection with death of Terez Parker Jr.

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. - Two juveniles have been arrested in connection with the death of 17-year-old Terez Parker Jr., according to the St. Joseph County Prosecutor's Office.

Rafael Diaz-Garcia, 16, of South Bend was charged with dangerous possession of a firearm and attempted providing of a firearm to an ineligible person.

Another juvenile, who was 15 years old at the time of the incident, was also detained for his role in the death of Parker.

He was arrested for felony murder and is being held in the Juvenile Justice Center.

The Prosecutor's Office is filing a delinquency petition.

After the petition is filed in Probate Court, the Prosecutor's Office will release the juvenile's name.

On March 18, the South Bend Police Department was called to a home in the 2000 block of Roger Street for a report of a person who had been shot.

At the scene, officers found Parker lying on the ground near the street. Parker was taken to the hospital where he later died.

An autopsy determined Park had been shot once in the abdomen.

The incident was ruled a homicide.

Witnesses told police they saw a car pull up to the residence and that there were two males inside, one of them being Diaz-Garcia.

A third person, later identified as Parker, approached the vehicle.

According to witnesses, Parker was masked when he approached the vehicle.

Witnesses heard a gunshot and the vehicle left the scene, reports said.

According to the investigation, Diaz-Garcia was planning on selling a handgun to the juvenile male in the vehicle.

Witnesses told police the juvenile arranged for Diaz-Garcia to come to the home to complete the sale.

Instead of buying the handgun, witnesses said Parker and the juvenile were planning to rob the handgun from Diaz-Garcia.

Digital communications between the juvenile and Parker confirm the robbery plans, according to the probable cause affidavit.

Police confirmed Diaz-Garcia's vehicle matches the description of the suspect vehicle. Security footage captured Diaz-Garcia driving the vehicle near the scene of the homicide shortly before it happened.

Cell phone records also confirmed Diaz-Garcia's location, reports said.

Witnesses who had knowledge of the robbery said the juvenile met Diaz-Garcia in front of the home on Roger Street and got in the front passenger seat of the vehicle.

Parker was allegedly kneeling behind a vehicle nearby.

When the juvenile tried to take the handgun from Diaz-Garcia, he called out for Parker to help him, reports said.

When Parker approached the vehicle, he was shot once in the abdomen.

The juvenile took the firearm from Diaz-Garcia and ran from the vehicle, firing a second round into the pavement as the vehicle drove away, according to reports.

The juvenile tried to help Parker but left the scene before police arrived, reports said.

Officers spoke with the juvenile, who allegedly denied that he was outside at the time of the shooting.

He told police he was upstairs at the time and didn't know why Parker went outside.

Witnesses told police the juvenile previously admitted he was outside when Parker was shot, reports said.

On Wednesday, Diaz-Garcia told police he spoke with the juvenile about selling him the handgun.

Diaz-Garcia said on the day of the shooting, he met with the juvenile in the 2000 block of Roger Street. At the home, the juvenile got into his vehicle.

After Diaz-Garcia handed the juvenile the handgun, a third male, later identified as Parker, approached the vehicle.

According to reports, Parker and the juvenile tried to rob Diaz-Garcia of the handgun.

A physical struggle took place among the three.

During the fight, Diaz-Garcia pulled the handgun from his waistband and fired one shot at Parker, police said.

The juvenile grabbed the handgun Diaz-Garcia was holding. The handgun went off a second time, the bullet hitting the pavement.

Diaz-Garcia dropped the gun, pushed the juvenile out of the driver's door, and left the area, reports said.

According to Diaz-Garcia, the juvenile still had the gun that was fired at Parker.

The juvenile was 15 years old at the time of the incident.

Diaz-Garcia was 16 years old at the time.

Diaz-Garcia was charged with dangerous possession of a firearm in June 2021.

He is being held at the St. Joseph County Jail.

The sentencing range for each of his charges is one to six years.

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