4
| News |

Mesa Man Planned "Copycat" Killing Like the Triple Murder in Phoenix, Cops Say

^
Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

A Mesa man has been arrested in an alleged plot to kill his family, as a "copycat" of the man who murdered three family members in Phoenix before shooting himself on Tuesday.

Mesa Police Detective Steve Berry says a roommate reported 34-year-old Carlos Hillan's intentions to police, and officers arrested him Wednesday after he jumped over the back wall at his wife's house with a gas can and lighter in hand.

See also:
-Phoenix Man Shoots and Kills Three Family Members Before Turning the Gun on Himself

In the Phoenix case on Tuesday, police say 53-year-old Michael Sanders killed his estranged wife, daughter, and brother-in-law, then set his wife's body on fire.

Sanders' wife and daughter previously had moved out of the house, but Sanders was supposed to leave the home while his wife and daughter gathered some of their belongings.

Sanders showed up and shot his brother-in-law, who was sitting in his truck on the driveway, before he chased down his wife and 14-year-old daughter and shot them, too.

After setting fire to his wife's body, Sanders walked down an alley behind the house and fatally shot himself.

In the alleged "copycat" case in Mesa, police say Hillan was going to sit at his wife's house and wait for her to get home from work.

"When later interviewed, he admitted to his plan and also said that he was going to kill their 3-year-old daughter," Detective Berry says in an e-mail.

Nobody was harmed, and Hillan was booked into jail on charges of attempted first-degree murder, attempted arson, and burglary.

"Had the roommates not taken action and called the police, it seems clear that we would be talking about another tragedy today," Berry says. "There are not words to describe the immediate and dedicated work of the detectives and officers who stopped this crime before it happened."

More details to come.

Send feedback and tips to the author.
Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.