Teenage Murder Suspect Stole Gun From Dad; Planned to Kill Girlfriend
A 16-year-old Mesa boy who admitted to fatally shooting his girlfriend's 42-year-old mother yesterday afternoon told police that he stole the gun used in the attack from his father. He also told investigators that the girl's mother wasn't his intended target -- he says he planned to kill his girlfriend and then himself.
The names of the suspect, victim, and her family have yet to be released, and it's unclear whether the 16-year-old will be tried as an adult. However, he's been booked on one count each of first-degree murder and burglary.
Mesa Sergeant Ed Wessing says the suspect told police that while at school yesterday, he decided to break into his 18-year-old girlfriend's home and kill her, or himself -- or both.
He then stole his father's pistol from a closet in his house. While loading the gun, it accidentally discharged into a wall in the suspect's bedroom.
The suspect then walked to the victim's home and broke into the garage and waited for someone to open a door leading into the house.
After about 15 minutes of waiting, the victim opened the door and the suspect forced himself inside.
Following a brief struggle with his girlfriend's mother, the suspect shot her in the head with the stolen pistol.
His girlfriend's brother heard the gunshot and saw the suspect emerge from the laundry room where he'd shot the woman The girlfriend's brother retreated to a bedroom, where he and the suspect had a brief scuffle before the victim's husband woke up.
The victim's husband found the suspect and his son fighting in the girlfriend's bedroom. The suspect still had the gun in his hand, at this point, but the homeowner was able to wrestle it away from him.
As the husband ran to the laundry room -- where he discovered his fatally wounded wife -- the suspect managed to slip out a bedroom window, leaving the weapon inside the home.
He was taken into custody about an hour later in an apartment complex near Superstition Springs Mall.
Jerry Cobb, spokesman for the Maricopa County Attorney's Office, tells New Times a decision will be made later today about whether to charge the teen as an adult. Check back for updates.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Phoenix, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.