Phoenix/ Crime & Emergencies
AI Assisted Icon
Published on June 20, 2024
Four Teens Charged with First-Degree Murder in Shooting Death of University of Arizona StudentSource: Newport Mesa Unified School District

Four teenagers have been taken into custody in the aftermath of the shooting that claimed the life of University of Arizona student Erin Jones, as reported by FOX 10 Phoenix. The incident, which left three others injured, occurred during a party near Country Club Road and Speedway Boulevard on April 28. Tucson Police have charged the individuals with first-degree murder following the tragic event.

The suspects identified by Tucson Police include 18-year-old Estevan Garcia and three 17-year-olds, Matthew Beale, Marcus Ian Williams, and Akeem Alvarez. Arrests occurred throughout mid-June, with Garcia being taken into custody near Midvale Park and Drexel Road, as detailed by Arizona's Family. The suspects are also facing drive-by shooting charges for allegedly driving to the party intentionally to target a separate group, who were confirmed not to be University of Arizona students.

Following the violent episode, it is believed by Tucson Police that Jones was not the intended victim, rather she became a casualty caught in the crossfire. The investigation, supported by roughly 200 interviews and evidence processing by detectives and staff investigators since the shooting, continues as there remain additional individuals connected to the incident who are still at large.

The rented home where the incident unfolded was reportedly occupied by members of the football team, with a number of players and other UA students attending the party that evening. After the shooting, only 25 witnesses remained on scene for interviews, according to Tucson Police, underscoring a desperate need to gather information from the total of 140 witnesses and neighbors and the over 50 individuals who called 911 in panic. Tucson Police have also linked the firearm used in Jones's death to a separate aggravated assault case.

"Over the past six weeks since the fatal shooting of Erin Jones, detectives and professional staff investigators from the TPD Central Investigations Division have conducted nearly 200 interviews and processed a vast amount of evidence," Tucson Police said in a statement. The department also expressed gratitude for the collaborative efforts of local and federal agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the University of Arizona Police Department, and community members who aided the investigation. The Tucson Police encourage anyone with additional information to come forward and contact 911 or 88-CRIME.