1 dead, 12 people injured stemming from drive-by shooting spree in Arizona: Police

A suspect was taken into custody and a weapon recovered in his car, police said.

June 17, 2021, 8:56 PM

One person is dead and a dozen people injured after an apparent drive-by shooting spree near Phoenix, authorities said.

Police are investigating at least eight different shooting incidents that occurred over the course of a 90-minute period Thursday morning throughout the West Valley, according to Sgt. Brandon Sheffert, a spokesperson for the Peoria Police Department, which is leading the investigation.

"This is an extremely complex investigation," Sheffert said during a press briefing, noting that multiple agencies are involved, including several police departments and the FBI. The number of shooting sites "could obviously grow," he said.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives told ABC News it is working to match ballistic shell casings from the various shooting scenes and tracing the recovered gun to figure out where the shooter bought or obtained the gun. It will also search the suspect's home for any other weapons.

At around 11:10 a.m. local time, Peoria police received a call of "a vehicle that had been shot by another vehicle" near 103rd and Northern avenues, Sheffert said.

The same suspect vehicle -- a white SUV -- is believed to be involved in at least eight total shooting incidents, police said. Out of 13 victims accounted for so far, four were shot, one of whom died, Sheffert said. The other injuries may have been from car crashes or broken glass, but no specifics are available at this time, he said.

The deceased victim was found with a gunshot wound in a car on the Loop 101 freeway at Thunderbird Road, Sheffert said. The other injuries are expected to be non-life-threatening.

PHOTO: Police investigate one of at least eight shooting sites in West Valley, Arizona, on June 17, 2021.
Police investigate one of at least eight shooting sites in West Valley, Arizona, on June 17, 2021.

Three Banner Health hospitals confirmed to ABC News that they received nine patients from what they referred to as Thursday's "drive-by shooting incident." Banner Health West Valley facilities were on a since-lifted lockdown.

The Surprise Police Department tracked down the suspect's car after it was spotted by the Surprise Fire Department, said Sunrise Sgt. Tommy Hale. Police took the male suspect into custody without incident after he pulled over, Hale said.

"Surprise PD did a great job locating this vehicle and getting this guy into custody to stop any more damage that he could do to the community," Sheffert said.

A weapon was recovered in the suspect's car, according to Hale, though no additional details were available on the type of gun.

No further details on the suspect were shared. Police are still investigating a motive, Sheffert said, though they don't believe it was related to road rage.

"We don't normally see road rage where this much happens," he said.

No information was available yet on charges, though there will "probably be a litany of charges," Sheffert said.

Police do not believe there are any additional suspects in the shootings and are asking anyone with information to call 623-773-8311.

"We want more information on this so we can figure out exactly what happened," Sheffert said.

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