Methy Hobo With Sawed-Off Shotgun Accused of Killing Armed Apartment Owner in Phoenix

An armed Phoenix man was shot and killed yesterday as he entered an apartment unit he owned after suspecting that someone might be inside.

Police found 31-year-old transient Bobby Hoover minutes later in front of Cortez High School, not even a half-mile away, walking down the street with his meth, a sawed-off shotgun, and two handguns -- one of which was the dead man's handgun, according to court documents obtained by New Times.

Steve Stair and his wife were servicing apartments they own near 35th Avenue and Dunlap around noon yesterday, when Stair's wife noticed a light on inside one of the units and asked her husband to check it out.

Since the couple had problems with trespassers inside this apartment, Stair retrieved his handgun from his car and went inside the apartment.

There, he found Hoover, who was in the process of burglarizing the place. Hoover fired four shots from his own handgun, striking Stair twice, according to the documents. Stair died from his wounds at a hospital.

When Hoover was found minutes later, walking down Dunlap, he admitted to police that he had the handguns in his pockets. The gun Hoover allegedly shot Stair with was loaded and had the safety off. Stair's gun, which was found in another one of Hoover's pockets, was loaded, but the safety was on, according to police.

While being patted down for more weapons, Hoover told officers, "I want to be honest, I have meth in my pocket," according to the court documents. Police note that Stair said this "without being questioned."

Hoover also informed police that he had a shotgun in his backpack, and police noted that the backpack-sized shotgun had been modified with an illegally shortened barrel.

Then, while the officers were talking to each other about the handguns, Hoover -- again, "without being questioned" -- said that the one handgun he had belonged to him, but the other "was one that he took from a white male that was in his 50's with gray or balding hair inside an apartment at 3421 W. Dunlap Avenue," court documents state.

Furthermore, police checked his records, and discovered that Hoover had three convictions for drug possession, another conviction for weapons misconduct -- meaning he wasn't allowed to have any weapons in the first place -- and also had an active warrant for his arrest, since he cut off his court-ordered ankle monitor.

For good measure, police note that three witnesses put Hoover at the murder scene with a gun.

Hoover now faces seven new felony charges, including first-degree murder. He's being held without bond.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley