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2 Teens Charged In Mass Shooting At Arizona House Party That Left 2 Dead, 5 Wounded

Yuma, AZ – Police have arrested two suspects in connection with the mass shooting at a house party in Yuma on Saturday night that left two people dead and five more suffering from gunshot wounds.

The incident began in the 3800-block of South J. Edward Drive at just before 10 p.m. on May 13, the Yuma Police Department (YPD) said in a press release on Sunday.

That was when YPD said its 911 call operators received a noise complaint about the party going on at that address, but police had not yet responded to the scene when gunfire erupted about an hour later, NBC News reported.

“There was a lot of parties going on throughout the Yuma community with all the graduations and stuff, so yes, there was a call about 55 minutes beforehand, but the officers were also all tied up on the other calls for service,” Yuma Police Chief Thomas Garrity told reporters on May 15. “There was no indication that there was any type of violence or anything going wrong, which would’ve made it a priority call at that point.”

But at about 10:54 p.m. gunfire erupted at that party, NBC News reported.

When officers responded to the scene, they found seven males suffering from gunshot wounds, Chief Garrity said.

Police said 19-year-old Danny Garcia and 20-year-old Ande Blackthunder were transported to Yuma Regional Medical Center where they were both pronounced dead, NBC News reported.

Two victims were airlifted to Phoenix Hospital for treatment in critical condition but were said to be stable as of Monday.

Three other victims, between the ages of 15 and 19, were treated at Yuma Regional Medical Center and released over the weekend, NBC News reported.

Chief Garrity said that four off-duty law enforcement officers were in the area when the gunfire erupted and ran to help the wounded.

He said a California Highway Patrol (CHP) officer, a Yuma detective, two Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents, and a nurse who was married to one of the agents, provided First Aid and helped responding officers as they arrived on the scene, NBC News reported.

Police said that detectives got warrants for a search on Monday that led to the arrests of two suspects.

Authorities have not said what evidence was found during the search, NBC News reported.

Authorities charged 18-year-old Jose Lopez with two counts of first-degree murder and a count of disorderly conduct with a weapon on May 16.

Police said 19-year-old Aden Arviso had also been arrested and charged with false reporting and disorderly conduct with a weapon, NBC News reported.

Chief Garrity said that the shooting was not random and that all of the suspects and victims were known to each other.

The police chief said there were “up to 100” people at the party that was thrown by a relative of the homeowners, NBC News reported.

The homeowners were not in town when the mass shooting occurred but have been cooperating with police since their return, according to the chief.

Investigators said that more than 30 rounds were fired into the crowd of guests, NBC News reported.

Chief Garrity said multiple weapons were recovered at the scene and are currently undergoing forensic testing.

He said the investigation is ongoing and anyone with information should contact Yuma police.

A cash reward of up to $1,000 is being offered for information that leads to additional arrests, NBC News reported.

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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Written by Sandy Malone


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