Barrow County

Brother of 18-year-old killed says he died trying to stop fight

BARROW COUNTY, Ga. — A single gunshot at the end of the driveway has caused nothing but grief for a family and a high school community.

Authorities say an 18-year-old victim was trying to be the peacemaker when an upset father came outside with a rifle.

Jose Tovar was a popular high school student athlete and his family says a bright future was cut short when he was shot and killed.

Tovar was a cross country runner who died early Saturday morning after he was shot Friday in a driveway in Barrow County.

Friends at East Jackson Comprehensive High School in Jackson County held a prayer service before school Monday.


Barrow County authorities say Tovar was trying to de-escalate an argument between his friend and a juvenile who lived at the house.

It was around 9:30 p.m. Friday night when authorities say the juvenile's father came out with a 22 caliber rifle and shot Tovar.

Roberto Arellando, 45, was arrested and charged with murder.

“If he would have talked to him a little bit he would have realized he's not a criminal, he was the best person who could have ever lived,” said Rigo Tovar, the victim's brother.

Rigo Tovar says the past couple days have been difficult, but he says his little brother's spirit will never leave him.

“Whenever I do something, I know he’s going to be there to give me extra strength,” Rigo Tovar said.

Arellando told authorities he was trying to defend his son and one of his neighbors says he is a hard working family man.