Mesa 16-Year-Old Accused of Murdering Girlfriend's Mom Identified as Braden Matthew Rockriver; Will Be Charged as Adult

Maricopa County Attorney's Office spokesman Jerry Cobb tells New Times that the Mesa 16-year-old accused of murdering his girlfriend's mother will be charged as an adult.

The boy, identified as Braden Matthew Rockriver, will be charged with first-degree murder, a class 1 dangerous felony; and first-degree burglary, a class two dangerous felony, Cobb says.

Mesa Sergeant Ed Wessing says Rockriver 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 Rockriver's bedroom.

Rockriver 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 Rockriver forced himself inside.

Following a brief struggle with his girlfriend's mother, Rockriver shot her in the head with the stolen pistol.

His girlfriend's brother heard the gunshot and saw Rockriver emerge from the laundry room where he'd shot the woman The girlfriend's brother retreated to a bedroom, where he and Rockriver had a brief scuffle before the victim's husband woke up.

The victim's husband found Rockriver 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 -- Rockriver 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.

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James King
Contact: James King