News

Arrest may be coming in teen shooting death

Police pursue leads while family and friends mourn the loss of Rylan Fuchs

The investigation into the shooting death of a 17-year-old San Ramon Valley High School senior may soon yield an arrest, according to the stepfather of the victim.

Ron Harmon's stepson Rylan Fuchs died of a gunshot wound to the throat early Wednesday morning. He was shot in front of the family's home in the 1000 block of El Capitan Drive in Danville.

Detectives from the Danville Police Department and the Contra Costa Sheriff's Department are looking for suspects in the Tuesday evening shooting that left the teen dead.

Harmon said Rylan came home around 8 p.m. that night after going to the gym and visiting his girlfriend. As far as he knew, Rylan was still in the house an hour later at the time of the shooting.

"He came out of his room with his dinner dishes and I swear it wasn't two minutes later and I heard a 'pop,' then a kind of thump on the front door," a still shaken Harmon said.

He and his wife Karen Williams were in the house watching television when he heard the noise and he rushed to the door, thinking that it was neighborhood kids fooling around.

"I was going to scare them," he said, "and I pulled open the door and he tumbled in."

Harmon said at first all he could see was the blood.

"I grabbed him and I thought, 'This kid's hurt.' Then I realized, 'Oh my god, that's my kid.'"

Harmon said he yelled to his wife to call 9-1-1 and to his 9-year-old stepson to get some towels to help stop the bleeding from the wound to his throat.

"I couldn't stop it," Harmon recalled. "It wasn't spurting out, it was shooting out."

Fuchs was transported to San Ramon Medical Center, but was then moved to John Muir Hospital in Walnut Creek. Despite two surgeries to stop the bleeding, the teen died early the next morning.

Something Harmon saw while at the hospital may be what leads police to the killer.

"We were leaving San Ramon hospital and I saw Rylan's girlfriend and another kid in the parking lot. I asked her how she knew," recalled Harmon. The girl told them that she'd received a text message that Rylan had been shot.

At John Muir even more of Rylan's friends were there, begging the question of who sent the initial texts.

"We didn't tell anybody," Harmon said. "How did they all know to come there?"

Speculation has it that Rylan may have received a text message to come outside the family's home and he snuck out of his bedroom window. He was shot just a moment later.

Harmon said he has been pleased with the Danville Police Department's handling of the teen's murder and he is confident that an arrest is imminent.

He added that once the arrest is made, it will compound the tragedy.

"The sad part of this scenario is that two families lives will be ruined," he said. "Ours because we lost a son. And the family of whoever did this to him. Their is probably never going to see daylight again."

Investigators have not confirmed any "person of interest" so far in the case and no press conferences have been scheduled at this point to announce an arrest.

Fuchs was a senior at San Ramon Valley High School, set to graduate in June. School District spokesman Terry Koehne addressed reporters and offered the district's sympathy to Fuchs' family.

He said the students and faculty at SRVHS were shocked by the news.

"They're very emotional. They're trying to grapple with this." He added, "Rylan was a relatively quiet but well known kid on campus."

Counselors have been called in to the high school to handle the situation and to help the students and faculty work through the shock and grief. "We've mobilized our crisis team on campus," said Koehne. "They will be there for as long as they're needed."

Flowers, candles and messages of support have been left on the porch where Ryan Fuchs was shot. Harmon said that Wednesday night the street outside his home was filled with young people coming to pay their respects to their friend and his family.

"There had to be 500 kids out here last night," Harmon recalled. "It might not have been every kid at San Ramon, but it was damned close."

Despite the tragedy that has befallen the family, Harmon was able to smile at the memory of all those people coming to offer their condolences.

"If there's one positive thing about this it's knowing how many people Rylan's life touched. That was a wonderful tribute last night. It made me feel good that he was that loved."

Harmon also used his own personal loss to remind parents to appreciate their children.

"Our children are just on loan to us from the Lord," he said. "We only have them for a short while. Be blessed with them while you have them."

Funeral and burial arrangements are expected to be announced in the next few days.

Any person with additional information regarding the death of Rylan Fuchs is asked to immediately contact Danville Police Lt. Mark Williams at 314-3701.

Comments

Posted by Jennifer, a resident of another community
on Jan 22, 2009 at 4:49 pm

I would like to say that this is such a tragic story. My heart goes out to his mother, and his family.I could only imagine the needless pain and suffering this family and community has endured. As a mother of a 17yr.old, I cant imagine the pain his mother is in. I Can't imagine calling 911 as your child is lying there shot. I do hope that there is closure for this family and the events that have taken place,very soon.I would also like to share with everyone that when you post a comment for others to read it is not nessecary to make Rylan out to be a villian.( I have read some other comments on other website that are unbelievably shocking, Rylan is the victim here and his family and the community,please do not judge you are not god.I think that those individuals that post those types of comments are foolish!)Danville is a beautiful community with beautiful,caring individuals.Danville does not have the crime that people have stated in other comment sections. Those "People" have torn down Danville and the Fuch family IT IS NOT OKAY, So if you cant write something kind or consoling then do not write anything at all.


Posted by katie, a resident of Charlotte Wood Middle School
on Jan 22, 2009 at 8:48 pm

I am so sorry for rylans brother. I went to the school he goes to last year, yet i didn't know him personaly. i hope the fam. is ok, and i am so mad at the shooter. He has shamed all of danville, and has set out a bad influence for all the children in this town. Rylan didn't deserve this. And neither does danville.


Posted by Lisa, a resident of Alamo
on Jan 23, 2009 at 11:01 am

You are wrong. Danville has issues and they need to be exposed. You are in the dark if you think it's this perfect little wonderful community. It's wonderful alright, but clearly there are issues and drug issues in our schools.


Posted by Lisa, a resident of Alamo
on Jan 23, 2009 at 11:30 am

I also think the Town of Danville should be making home owners aware that kids from other troubled areas are being brought into our town, to go to our schools, with our children. I bet most people in Danville are not aware of this issue.


Posted by Bob H., a resident of Danville
on Jan 23, 2009 at 12:12 pm

You may think Dylan is only a victim.

But if you have to leave your house by exiting a window with a screen on it you obviously have other issues with your family that are deeper than just being a victim !!!!


Posted by CYNTHIA MARTINEZ, a resident of Danville
on Jan 23, 2009 at 2:04 pm

I LOST A BROTHER WHEN HE WAS ONLY TWENTY-ONE YEARS OLD IN VIETNAM. DON'T HAVE THE ANSWERS TO WHY BUT I DO KNOW TIME IS A GREAT HEALER. YOU DON'T FORGET BUT YOU LEARN TO LIVE WITH THE LOSS AND THAT IS OKAY IT IS A WAY WE REMEMBER THE PERSON AND THE PERSON LIVES IN THE HEART OF HIS FAMILY AND FRIENDS FOREVER. I DO KNOW LIFE IS ETERNAL. MY LOSS IS DIFFERENT FROM YOUR LOSS BUT THE SAME THAT THEY WERE BOTH YOUNG AND TAKEN WITHOUT A REASON. MY PRAYERS, THOUGHTS AND BLESSINGS TO THE FAMILY, FIRENDS AND LOVE ONES.


Posted by Kathi, a resident of Diablo
on Jan 23, 2009 at 2:53 pm

Clearly this boy had issues, and is also wrong for being involved with any drug deal of any type. This just proves that the drug issues in our town get pushed under the rug. I guess the good kids from other areas may want to come to our schools, but don't tell me this 15 year old didn't have a record prior to arriving in Danville. This practice needs to be checked into.


Posted by Deborah Bass-Spaete, a resident of San Ramon Valley High School
on Jan 23, 2009 at 5:02 pm

SHAME ON ALL OF YOU WHO SPEAK NEGATIVE CONCERNING ANYTHING REGARDING THIS UNUSUAL INCIDENT. THIS IS NO REFLECTION ON DANVILLE IN A NEG MANNER, OR RYLAN. GOD BLESS HIS FAMILY AND THE SHOOTERS FAMILY.THIS IS TRAGIC. MAYBE ITS A WAKE UP CALL. DANVILLE IS A LITTLE LALA LAND.AN WE ARE ALL VERY PROUD OF OUR TOWN. LETS ALL COME TOGETHER IN PEACE.
REMEMBER" IF YOU DO NOT HAVE ANYTHING NICE TO SAY - DONT SAY IT AT ALL. Rylan is with God- How wonderful.


Posted by Anonymous, a resident of Danville
on Jan 23, 2009 at 6:17 pm

Those of you who are judging saying that Ryland already had issues if he's climbing out of a window, or drug related issues, you're STUPID. First of all, teenagers sneak out of the house ALL the time, its something we do every once in a while if we have strict parents. Honestly "Bob H.", I bet your kids do it too and you just haven't caught them yet. Secondly, you don't know for a fact that Ryland was involved in any drug ordeal, so don't speak negatively unless you get your facts straight, and I'm pretty sure you DON'T know it for a fact. Thirdly, drug problems are everywhere. Both in Danville, and every other town/city/commmunity, so why are you putting Danville on a spotlight? Yes, Danville is a nice town to live in, but it's not like we don't know that there still are drugs. But don't blame Ryland for the drugs if you don't know anything about it. Nonetheless, he did not deserve to get shot or killed for this. God bless his family and friends.


Posted by Anonymous2, a resident of Walnut Creek
on Jan 23, 2009 at 7:13 pm

Do your homework Anonymous on the issue, you are clearly missing a lot of facts. I feel terrible for this boy, and wished he had been able to stay away from this. When I put my son to bed last night and kissed his head it made me think of Rylan, and that he was once a small child. But when you buy and sell drugs you come in contact with trouble. This IS drug related, ask the kids that purchased it. Check out Face book when you have a moment,and then tell me we don't have some issues. The posting are terrible. PS. His name is Rylan not Ryland.


Posted by anonymous, a resident of Alamo
on Jan 23, 2009 at 7:17 pm

Maybe we should remember that even "good" kids get involved in unfortunate situations and that virtually all of us, in our youth, did stupid things, like experimenting with drugs, or speeding in a car, or getting in the car with a drunk driver, or whatever, but most of us were lucky enough not to lose our lives. Rylan was not so lucky.

To find fault with Rylan is only to forget that he was a human being and made mistakes, like we all have; he certainly did not deserve to lose his life. Right now, what his family needs is loving support, not criticism of Rylan, or of behavior on his part that his parents were not aware of. Every parent of a teenager should realize that they are never going to be completely aware of everything their kids are doing, and a teenager can never be completely controlled (short of chaining them to their bed- in which case you would be arrested for child abuse. Otherwise, there have been several times I may have resorted to this action!).

What we need to focus on is helping our kids to make positive choices in an increasingly complex and competitive world. We can also focus on the compassionate spirit in our community by reaching out to Rylan's family in loving and supportive ways.

As a case in point, I have been very impressed by the actions taken at San Ramon Valley High School, where my son is a student. There was no secrecy on the part of the school, the principal sent out an immediate memo to all parents that day.

My son is in Rylan's English class, he came to school that morning expecting to take a final exam, but instead found his warmhearted teacher crying. She canceled the final. Her name is Karen Bonnar. Another teacher, Mr. Busboom, always a generous spirit and kind soul, came in to speak to the class, consoling them and inspiring them to find lessons in Rylan's tragic death. We are fortunate indeed to have people like these leading our children. (I hope I did not misspell their names.)

I know some people in the community will focus on the fact that the murder suspect came from, as one previous comment said, "a troubled area". That same post goes on to say that these kids are "brought into OUR town, going to OUR schools, with OUR children.

I am not discounting the very real issues of racial division in our country and everything that goes along with that: socioeconomic divide, fear, jealousy and conscious/unconscious anger, access to guns, etc. However, when we divide the world into "OUR" kids versus "other" kids, we foster more fear, hate and division. And we forget what we saw on the news, that Rylan's stepfather is an African American man living in Danville. He is part of "OUR" community too. A loving, caring, grieving father who is also a citizen of our community.

Let us reach out to him and his family in love, not with blame, fear and recrimination.


Posted by me, a resident of Alamo
on Jan 23, 2009 at 7:23 pm

Just to avoid confusion, I wrote the last post as "anonymous," but I did not make either of the above "Anonymous" posts. I guess I should not have used the pseudonym "anonymous" as it gets rather confusing!


Posted by Anonymous, a resident of Danville
on Jan 23, 2009 at 7:25 pm

Debrah, you are so Danville. Continue to walk around with rose colored glasses on. Bless the shooter? Bless the people of Danville who tried to give the shooter a better education and life style. Yuck!


Posted by Danville resident, a resident of Danville
on Jan 23, 2009 at 7:55 pm

Can we PLEASE stop the fighting on this between people who are just thinking of them selfs here!!! There is a boy who just lost his life over a tragic thing....YES it was due to drugs of some sort but that was NO REASON for him to lose his life over!!!! There are drugs in all parts of our life and it is in EVERY town, city and community...not just Danville.....its ashame that this has happen in a small town like Danville.....there is a family griefing over their son that has just died..show some respect here people and good bless you Rylan you will be missed very much, R.I.P.


Posted by Danville resident, a resident of Danville
on Jan 23, 2009 at 7:57 pm

God Bless you Rylan, may you be at peace!


Posted by Lisa, a resident of Danville
on Jan 23, 2009 at 8:05 pm

Dear Anonymous in Alamo, Kids do get in trouble from time to time, and make bad choices, but things have changed in the last ten years. WHO MENTIONED colored in the word "troubled" are you saying the shooter is a different color? Are you saying trouble must be a colored person? You sound as if you jump to the racial issue.

I don't care what color a person is as long as they are following the LAW, and are doing the right thing with a good opportunity handed to them. TROUBLED means "in trouble, causing problems, and making poor choices". I don't think the color of a persons skin was mentioned in the dictionary. I do not want troubled kids in our schools no matter who, or where they come from. All areas have issues, white, black, yellow, or brown. So please do not mark me as a raciest raising the issue of group homes in Danville. My mother has one in her neighborhood and it's a major problem. Oh, and they are all white. So let's take a look at the real issue and leave COLOR out of it.


Posted by Rachel T., a resident of San Ramon Valley High School
on Jan 23, 2009 at 8:48 pm

Rylan definitely did NOT deserve this. Personally, I never realized how many of people's hearts he has touched until now. In addition, I also cannot believe that the person who shot him was in my math class last year.. when he transferred to my school and came to my math class for the first time, little did I know that he would end up being a murderer.


Posted by Rachel T., a resident of San Ramon Valley High School
on Jan 23, 2009 at 9:25 pm

Whoops, I meant to put my previous post in a related article about this.


Posted by Janie, a resident of Danville
on Jan 23, 2009 at 9:45 pm

Ok, let all the adults have nice sips of wine and cocktails, pop a few vicodan, and talk about the terrors of kids on drugs!
Hypocrites.

May the poor kid rest in peace, an his family find love and comfort.

My heart goes out to the suffering family and close friends.


Posted by Layli, a resident of San Ramon Valley High School
on Jan 23, 2009 at 11:46 pm

Honestly guys, you should be ashamed at some of the things you are saying. Are drugs bad? yes as a matter of fact they are, but who are you to judge the life of an innocent teen who went through so much in his life? He lost his sister when she was 15 months old, along with the regular stuff that teens deal with daily. This incident is clearly planned and its not something that just spontaneously happened. And i am ashamed to say that im a part of the SRVHS community considering i know damn well that the kids that go to SRVHS or monta vista know who did this or were involved in some way but are to ignorant to fess up, and frankly i find that very insulting. Rylans family is dealing with enough already, and if your gonna walk around school moping and acting like you dont know what happened then you dont deserve anything. Rylan is an innocent kid who just got into a little trap someone set up, it is not his, nor his families fault, obviously his parents did one hell of a job raising him, he is by far the sweetest most open hearted guy you will ever meet, he was always kind to everyone and never said anything bad. He had this way of making everything better by just looking at you, and his smile illuminated the room and makes everyone elses world light up. My deepest sympathy goes to Rylans family, and Rylan will always be in my heart and him and his family will be in my thoughts and prayers.
Best of luck finding the kid who deserves to suffer.

GOD BLESS


Posted by iCare, a resident of Danville
on Jan 31, 2009 at 12:04 am

San Ramon Valley CASA

Mission Statement
We are a community movement for drug-free youth in the San Ramon Valley.

We encourage change through education and alternative activities.
115-A Town & Country Drive, Danville, CA 94526

phone: (925) 743-3059, ext. 328
www.srvcasa.org


Posted by anonymous, a resident of San Ramon Valley High School
on Mar 28, 2009 at 1:06 am

wow. 2 all the ppl still saying it was a student that attended SR last year however no arrest has been nade, shut up. let the poliice confiirmn then all u ppl that love 2 gossip can run n tell the wrld who did it. until then, no one knowz. officially.


Posted by anonymous, a resident of San Ramon Valley High School
on Mar 28, 2009 at 1:07 am

wow. 2 all the ppl still saying it was a student that attended SR last year however no arrest has been nade, shut up. let the poliice confiirmn then all u ppl that love 2 gossip can run n tell the wrld who did it. until then, no one knowz. officially.


Posted by Alan, a resident of Blackhawk
on Apr 27, 2009 at 11:34 pm

That is blatantly untrue. Danville had a homicide three years ago. You don't know if this was a cold blooded murder. You don't know anything. So give it a rest.

And you are lying about the weekly running an article saying rylan deserved to die. There was an editorial where the editor was commenting on the fact someone said that and then defending rylan and saying no one deserves to die.

Moderators of this site, why haven't you banned this racist yet?


Posted by Rick, a resident of Danville
on Apr 29, 2009 at 12:08 pm

Hey Alan, it's amazing to see the type of Nazi-like censorship you demand. I know that Danville had a murder three years ago, that's why I specified cold-blooded. Small towns have their murders once-in-a-while, and they are almost always familial, as was the one you speak of. They are a far cry from a gang-style hit like what happened to Rylan. If wanting to protect my family makes me a racist, so be it. Let's have it out in city council!


Posted by Rick, a resident of Danville
on Apr 29, 2009 at 12:11 pm

You are all a bunch of cowards who have no concern for protecting our children. You can ban me from the internet. I'll merely take it to the streets. You think I'm the only one who feels this way. I speak for the silent majority. You're about to see a community organization you've been fearing for some time.


Posted by Rick, a resident of Danville
on Apr 29, 2009 at 12:15 pm

By the way, on the Danville Weekly article, it only takes half a brain to see that they were essentially saying the guy had a point, for they said Rylan's choices caused what happened. Nowhere were the adults blamed for making the terrible choice of bringing gangbangers into our community. You are either so dull that you can't see manipulation when it's staring you plainly in the face, or you are part of the manipulation. I'll default to the latter. You are the reason that I like many have recently become a gun owner, for we can no longer count on the government and schools to protect us from thugs.


Posted by Rick, a resident of Danville
on Apr 29, 2009 at 12:17 pm

It's time the government fear the people. It's time the thugs fear the suburbanites, for we too can by guns and we damn well can use them.


Posted by Alan, a resident of Danville
on Apr 29, 2009 at 3:32 pm

Wow, guys like you are the reason we have gun laws. I too was thinking of buying a gun and after listening to your rants on the school threads and elsewhere I can't decide if I'm more afraid of you or the thugs you claim are invading our town.

I'll be looking forward to seeing you come out from behind your computer screen and into the light of the city council meeting. Which meeting will you be speaking at? Give us a date, i'm always up for a good show.

I've reread the article several times and nowhere does it say he got what was coming to him. As someone who knows Rylan's family I can tell you if the weekly had made any point along those lines they would have heard about it. So no confusion here, just reading the article and choosing not to misinterpret it to suit my own ends.

Yes rylan made choices, and those choices led to a situation where he died. But he could have been buying drugs from any number of sources inside the community without ever having come in contact with the kid who supposedly shot him. And any of those other sources could have led to a similar situation. Or he could have asphyxiated from huffing or od'd from doing ex. So in that context the comments made about his choices are correct. But nowhere do they support the comment made at the start of the article by the person who said he deserved to die.


Posted by Rick, a resident of Danville
on Apr 29, 2009 at 5:21 pm

Hey Allan, wow, you're the reason I'm buying as many guns as I can while I can, because you obviously don't believe in the 2nd amendment. The Constituion? What's that? It's funny that it's not the child-murderer that makes you want to have gun laws. It's the guy who wants to protect his kids from murderers that makes you scared. Remember, it may be a cliche but it's oh so true, if you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns. I'd like to see you try and take my constitutional right away. And yeah, you're argument that any pot-dealer in danville could've just as easily been a cold-blooded murderer really holds water (NOT!) Danville's a town of more than forty-thousand where kids have bought pot in highschool for decades. no one gets killed over it. You bring in a dozen group home kids and one of them murders one of our children over turf. Don't try to convince that the article was something it wasn't. I've got a brain to read between the lines. Especially when it's not even remotely subtle. You're not so dumb as you pretend, you're just plain evil. You like defending child-killers? Fine. You like blaming seventeen year old weed smokers for their own murder? Fine. Rylan's blood is on your hands.

PS. I seriously doubt you are as acquainted with his family as you say. I know if Rylan was my kid and I saw what you wrote I would wring your neck.


Posted by Rick, a resident of Danville
on Apr 29, 2009 at 5:25 pm

Alright tough guy, you wanna meet at town council? You calling me out big shot? I'll keep you updated. And don't you worry, I will come. I've been savoring this moment for six months. Why don't you tell me when you're coming. I'll meet you there.


Posted by Rick's Keeper, a resident of Alamo
on Aug 16, 2010 at 3:28 pm

Hey Rick from Danville neighborhood. [Portion removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language] Rylan was one of my best friends and didn't deserve what happened to him. And for you to be so ignorant and selfish in this article which is regarding the incident leading to his death is insulting to all of Rylan's loved ones and should be really embarrassing for you and everyone living under your families name. [Portion removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]

..... R.I.P. Rylan ......


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