Services set for slain Danville teen | January 30, 2009 | Danville Express | |

Danville Express

Newsfront - January 30, 2009

Services set for slain Danville teen

Alameda County teen held while police investigate

by Geoff Gillette

Funeral services are tomorrow for 17-year-old Rylan Fuchs, the San Ramon Valley High School senior who was shot and killed in front of his home last week.

Teenagers at SRVHS were able to pay their respects and reminisce about their slain friend at a special on-campus memorial Wednesday after school. Students have also been collecting money and selling memorial T-shirts to help the family pay funeral costs, and Primo's Pizza and Pasta donated a portion of its profits Wednesday evening to help the family.

The funeral is set for this weekend, with a viewing from 4-8 p.m. this evening, Friday, at Wilson & Kratzer, 825 Hartz Way in Danville. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday morning at Crosswinds Church, 6444 Sierra Court, Dublin.

Meanwhile the investigation into Fuchs' death continues, with the arrest Jan. 23 of a 15-year-old male from Alameda County. Danville Police Chief Chris Wenzel made the announcement at a Friday press conference. "At approximately 2 a.m. Danville police developed information on the whereabouts of the suspect. Detectives from the Sheriff's Department located the suspect in the city of Oakland with the assistance of Oakland P.D."

Officers arrested the teenager at the home of a relative. He was taken into custody and was transported to the Martinez Juvenile Detention Center. Because of the suspect's age, Wenzel did not provide an identity of the suspect although he did confirm that he had lived in the Danville area previously.

Wenzel said the motive for the shooting may have been drug related.

"There is still a lot of work to do on this case," Wenzel said. "Many more interviews need to be conducted. The report still has to be filed with the DA's office, which will be reviewing the case."

Attorney Dan Cabral is handling the case for the District Attorney's Office. Cabral said at press time Wednesday morning that the suspect is being held on an unrelated charge and no murder charges have yet been filed. "The investigation is continuing," he explained. "We don't know yet if murder charges will be filed, or if he'll be charged as an adult."

Cabral added that since the suspect is currently in custody it gives them the time to complete the investigation. "They (detectives) are doing a thorough job and we want to make sure the investigation is completed."

News of the arrest did little to assuage the grief and anger being felt by Rylan Fuchs' girlfriend, Paulina Wszolek. Wszolek, 16, a junior at California High School, attended the press conference to hear what was being done in the investigation.

The arrest helps, she said, but doesn't answer all the questions she has about her boyfriend's murder. "I want to know how it happened, I want to know why it happened."

Wszolek and her mother, Grace, spoke with reporters about the slain teenager. "He just had such a good heart," Grace Wszolek said. "He trusted people too much. He was just such a good boy."

Fuchs' stepfather Ron 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 the day after Fuchs died.

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.

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

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


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Posted by withheld
a resident of another community
on Jan 30, 2009 at 10:00 am

I am an estranged aunt of the suspect who has yet to have murder charges filed against him. I am unsure of this circumstances involved in as to why this happened to Ryan. It was senseless and selfish and no matter the reason unjust. There is supposedly several people involved in this childs murder and I hope that all are arrested. We to are still just trying to ingest the whole senario, it is so difficult to fathum, thhat such young lives were involved and so swiftly taken away. My thoughts and prayers are with all who knew, cared and loved Ryan. May he rest in peace.