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Paulina Wszolek, 16, right, is comforted by mother Grace Wszolek moments before a press conference in Danville, Calif., on Friday, Jan. 23. 2009, at which it was announced that a 15-year-old boy from Alameda County had been arrested in connection with the Tuesday fatal shooting of Rylan Fuchs of Danville, a 17-year-old San Ramon Valley High School student. Paulina spoke briefly about her boyfriend Rylan following Danville Police Chief Chris Wenzel's announcement. (Cindi Christie/Staff)

DANVILLE — Police arrested a 15-year-old boy in the death of Rylan Fuchs, a Danville teenager who was shot in front of his home Tuesday night.

The suspect, described as an acquaintance of the victim, is not being named because he is a minor. He was arrested about 2 a.m. Friday at a relative's home in Oakland, said Danville police Chief Chris Wenzel. The boy is from Alameda County but had previously lived in the Danville area. He is being held in Juvenile Hall in Martinez.

Drugs may be a motive in the shooting, Wenzel said, and the investigation is ongoing. Few details were released about the case during the brief Friday morning news conference outside the police department.

Ron Harmon, Fuchs' stepfather, said news of the arrest put him a little at ease.

"I'm half-relieved," he said. "I really will be relieved if this suspect is found guilty and brought to justice."

Fuchs' mother, Karen Williams, was also glad someone was arrested but said no amount of punishment will bring her son back.

Fuchs, 17, was shot about 9:15 p.m. Tuesday in front of his home in the 1000 block of El Capitan Drive. He died from a single gunshot wound to his neck. Harmon found him wounded and bleeding when he opened the front door to investigate noises he heard outside. Fuchs was first taken to San Ramon Regional Medical Center and then to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek. He died Wednesday morning.


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Harmon did not know his stepson had left the house. He said he later found a window propped open, which he believes Fuchs might have used to leave the house to meet whomever shot him.

Harmon said he learned about the suspect through Fuchs' friends.

"I've never met him," he said. "He's never been here."

The death of the San Ramon Valley High School senior has shocked the community, where violent crime is rare. The town's last homicide was in 2007. Friends and family described the teen as a sweet guy who was creative and loved basketball.

The doorstep of the family's home on El Capitan Drive has been covered with bouquets of flowers. Friends are selling memorial T-shirts to help raise money for his family, and more than 1,300 users have signed up for his online memorial Facebook page.

Fuchs' girlfriend, Paulina Wszolek, wearing jewelry Fuchs had given her, was in tears during the news conference and afterward, hugging her mother, Grace. She said her boyfriend of 11 months would be the last person she would have expected to be killed. Wszolek said she thinks she knows who the boy is who was arrested but does not know him personally. She said Fuchs and the boy were acquaintances.

"Nothing is going to bring Rylan back, but I hope (the shooter) sits in prison for a really long time," said Wszolek, 16, who got a heart tattoo on her stomach in memory of her boyfriend.

Fuchs' natural father, Bill Fuchs of Alamo, said it was Rylan who helped him after he suffered a severe stroke 11 years ago. He said the boy helped with just about everything around the house — except the driving.

"A great kid, (the shooter) took a great kid off this world," Bill Fuchs said. "He never had an enemy."

A fund has been set up for Rylan Fuchs at the Danville Washington Mutual Branch on San Ramon Valley Boulevard. Donations may be made at any Washington Mutual branch. The account number is 358-235743-6 and is under Rylan Fuchs' name.

Staff writers Robert Salonga and Robert Jordan contributed to this story. Reach Sophia Kazmi at skazmi@bayareanewsgroup.com or 925-847-2122.