The Tempe Police Department announced today that two suspects have been arrested in connection with the murder of a 21-year-old Arizona State University student gunned down near the campus last month.
The two men in custody for the murder of ASU senior Zachary Marco are 20-year-old Louis Eugene Harper and 17-year-old Anthony Patterson III -- both suspected gang members living in Tempe.
Harper, police say, pulled the trigger.
The police were vague in explaining what led them to the two men. Tips from the public, they say, led them to the discovery of a computer bag Marco was carrying at the time of the murder. Police believe the two suspects were trying to steal a computer in the bag when they murdered Marco -- their fingerprints were found on some of the contents of the bag.
Police wouldn't say where the bag was found, or who found it. They also wouldn't say whether they'd recovered the gun used in the murder.
After finding the prints, cops got warrants to search some of Harper's and Patterson's belongings and found the two had been text messaging each other about committing armed robberies around the time of Marco's murder. Police wouldn't say whether they specifically mentioned the Marco murder in the text messages.
Harper's been in custody for a few weeks on an unrelated forgery charge. He was booked on the murder charge early this morning. Patterson was arrested yesterday.
It was always believed that two suspects were involved in the robbery-gone-wrong. Prior to the arrests, you may recall Marco's father, Dan, offered a deal to the suspect who didn't pull the trigger.
The elder Marco, a defense attorney, made a public statement saying he would do everything in his power to make sure the accomplice in his son's murder got the best defense possible. The only condition: he had to turn in the other suspect. That never happened.
"No one came forward...the deal's off the table," a defiant Marco told reporters at a press conference this afternoon.
At the time of his offer to the accomplice, Marco assured the murderers that they would be caught. In a message directed at the suspects, Marco now says "I told you so."
"My son's life was taken for nothing," he told reporters. "[The murderers] don't even have the stuff anymore."
Both Harper and Patterson have been charged with first-degree murder. See video of Harper's initial court appearance here.
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