"He died for no reason": Road rage victim's mother calls son's death senseless
ORO VALLEY, Ariz. (KGUN9-TV) - Oro Valley police responded to Oracle Road and 1st Avenue for a call about shots fired just before 8:00 p.m., Feb. 28.
Upon arriving at the scene, officers saw a man suffering from gun shot trauma, according to Lt. Kara Riley with the Oro Valley Police Department.
The victim was transported to a local area hospital by the Golder Ranch Fire District, where he was pronounced dead a short time later. The victim was identified as 22-year-old Joshua Stephen Switalski, a Pima County resident, Riley said.
His mother Jeri, Switalski released this statement to 9OYS: "This was a very senseless act, he died for no reason. This should be a wake up call for drivers out there. There is no reason for this. Josh will be truly missed."
In a news release, Riley tells 9OYS that detectives interviewed several witnesses who said that two vehicles traveling northbound along Oracle Road appeared to be engaged in a verbal altercation. The confrontation involved 21-year-old David Arnoldo Mota, who was driving a pick-up truck and Switalski, who was driving a sedan. Each driver had a passenger in their vehicle, according to Riley.
As both vehicles continued traveling on Oracle Road, one of the occupants in the pick-up truck pulled out a firearm and began shooting at the sedan, according to Riley. Switalski's vehicle came to rest in the emergency lane of Oracle Road near the intersection of 1st Avenue.
No other injuries were reported, Riley said.
The suspect vehicle drove away, but was located by OVPD officers as it approached Hawser Road, according to Riley. Officers detained two men and OVPD detectives responded to continue the investigation.
Detectives believe Mota fired at Switalski's sedan, Riley said. Police arrested Mota and charged him with one count of first-degree murder and one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, according to Riley.
Mota stood before a judge Friday night. The Pima County Attorney's office wanted him held on a 1 million dollar bond. The judge knocked that down to $50,000. It's not clear whether Mota could or would post bail. He is due back in court on March 11th.
Detectives ask that anyone who may have witnessed the confrontation or the shooting itself call 9-1-1, 88-CRIME or 229-4900.
If you'd like to help the family with funeral costs, you can click here. Just search for "Josh Switalski".