1 dead, 12 injured in Arizona drive-by shooting spree

The male suspect was taken into police custody Thursday after being pulled over by officers who were notified of his location by a witness who had spotted his white Volkswagen Tiguan. Photo courtesy of the Peoria Police Department/Facebook

June 18 (UPI) — Police in Arizona said officers have taken a man into custody following a drive-by shooting spree through three West Valley cities that left one person dead and at least 12 others injured.

Peoria Sgt. Brandon Sheffert told reporters in a press conference that the male suspect was taken into custody without incident about 90 minutes after police were notified of the shooting.

Of those injured, four were shot, including the deceased, with the other three suffering from non-life threatening injures and were expected to recover, he said. The other victims were injured as a result of shrapnel or involved car accidents.

The investigation is still preliminary but most of the shootings appear to be the result of the suspect driving up to parked cars and opening fire, Sheffert said.

There were a total of eight crime scenes, he said, adding a weapon was recovered from the suspect’s vehicle.

“We don’t know the nexus, we don’t know what the motive was, we don’t have an idea of what this person was thinking when he went out and did this,” he said. “Obviously we want to figure that out because there’s a lot of scared people and a lot of people this affected.”

Police were notified of the first shooting at about 11:10 a.m. with officers arriving at the scene to find an adult suffering from a gunshot wound in a vehicle, the Peoria Police Department said in a statement Thursday night.

The victim and a witness provided police with a description of the suspect’s car and license plate, prompting officers to search for the white Volkswagen Tiguan.

As the search was underway, additional reports of gunfire were reported to various police departments in the cities of Glendale, Peoria and Surprise Valley, the Peoria Police Department said in a statement.

According to authorities, the unidentified male suspect was taken into police custody at 12:42 p.m. following a traffic stop performed by an officer after the suspect’s vehicle had been spotted by an employee of the Surprise Fire-Medical Department who contacted the authorities.

“He was compliant,” Tommy Hale of the Surprise Police Department said.

The suspect has since been transported to the Peoria Police Department to be processed.

The shooting occurred amid an increase in mass shootings in the United States.

According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have been at least 281 mass shootings this year, nearly half of the 610 committed last year and more than half of the 417 that were committed in 2019.


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