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Three teens arrested in murder of 16-year-old Suwanee boy, police say

Abel Castellanos was fatally shot in the chest last month. His mother spoke exclusively with 11Alive in response to the charges the three teens face.

SUWANEE, Ga. — Police have announced the arrest of all three suspects in the murder of a 16-year-old Suwanee boy shot dead in July.

16-year-old Miguel Gabriel Flores and 17-year-olds Jermaine Dondi Rimson and Joshua Ryan Poteat are now all in custody, authorities say. Flores, Rimson and Poteat are facing felony murder, armed robbery and aggravated assault charges.

Suwanee Police said Rimson was taken into custody in Boston, Mass., yesterday after a "brief foot pursuit" by Boston Fugitive Task Force Officers. He is currently awaiting extradition from Boston back to Gwinnett County.

At approximately 2:30 p.m. Friday, Poteat turned himself into the Gwinnett County Sheriff's Office, according to a statement from police.

It's been more than a month since Abel Castellanos was killed and his mother, Maria Alejandra Camacho said she feels some sort of relief while also mourning her child's death. He would have turned 17-years-old Friday.

"My life will never be the same," Camacho said in Spanish. "It’s this hole for a mother. He was my first child, my first love. I love all my children equally but he taught me how to be a mother."

Castellanos was found dead July 19 at The Residences apartment complex off McGinnis Ferry Road, where his family lived. 

Camacho says they have since had to move to another home.

"It was really difficult being at our old apartment knowing everything that happened there, and always driving by where it happened. It was really difficult for me," she said.

Suwanee Police said the teen was shot in the chest. Now the three teens are facing charges in Castellanos' death. 

Credit: WXIA

"Abel didn’t know any of the three suspects," Camacho said. "There was one who was driving who is still on the run and is being looked for, another shot, and the other one is behind bars tonight."

His family's pastor said Castellano and his family moved to the United States from Venezuela in search of a better life and to escape violence in their home country. His mother said; unfortunately, her family has not been able to escape trouble in the U.S. either.

"What I see right now is there is such freedom for children to somehow get ahold of weapons in any corner and we have to see how we can control that," she said. "We left because of the violent situation [in Venezuela]. We were robbed many times. One comes to this country to run away from all of that and look what happened to us.”

Though to some, the death of her son may seem like part of an ongoing problem with youth violence, to her it's a lost opportunity as she'll never see her son's dreams come to fruition.

"Throughout his teenage years, he had a tough phase but he had so many expectations, so many goals to reach," she said. "I’m a single mom and I haven’t been able to go back to work. I’m trying to wake up every single day for my other kids. It hurts that he’s not here with me, but I know the other two need me, too.”

Describing Castellanos as disciplined, she said her son would wake up at 5 a.m. to catch the school bus at 6 a.m. He'd go to work at 4 p.m. and end his day at 11 p.m. 

"Then do it all over again the next day," she explained. 

She said he came to the U.S. at 10 years old and was very focused on what he wanted to accomplish.

"He was very ambitious and had been working since he was 14 years old," she said. "You won't find that strength and discipline in many kids his age."

RELATED: Funeral held for 16-year-old boy shot to death in Suwanee neighborhood

Police have not said who fired the fatal shot, only that Flores is being detained at the Regional Youth Detention Center and that they are searching for the two 17-year-old boys. Camacho said she wants her son's case to see closure.

"Through it all, I feel some sense of peace that justice could be made, so that this doesn’t keep happening," the mother said. "If that person is still on the run, just like he did this to my son who he didn’t even know – he could do it again. He had no reason to do what he did."

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