2 suspects arrested in homicide at Phoenix smoke shop


by 3TV


Posted on May 6, 2014 at 10:01 AM

Updated Thursday, May 8 at 10:30 AM

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PHOENIX -- Police have arrested two suspects in the murder last week of a smoke shop employee.

Jesse Ruben Mesa, 21, and his brother Alex Garcia, 18, are accused of shooting and killing 47-year-old Kadhim Al-Taee on April 29 at the Smoke N Pipe store on Indian School Road just west of Fifth Avenue.

Police said Garcia admitted to robbing the store and shooting Al-Taee. Detectives also said they found several items believed to be stolen from the store in the apartment where the suspects were located.

According to court documents, police arrested Mesa and Garcia after receiving some anonymous tips from people who said the two and a third male committed the armed robbery and murder at the smoke shop.

The sources told police that Mesa and Garcia were bragging about the incident and lived at the Pinewood Apartments at 4802 N. 15th Avenue.

Mesa denied any involvement in the incident.

Mesa and Garcia are facing charges of first-degree murder, armed robbery, theft and arson. Bond was set for each suspect at $500,000.

The suspects are also accused of stealing Al-Taee's 2004 gold color Cadillac Escalade. The vehicle has not been located.

Police have not said if they are looking for a third suspect in connection with the crimes.


Police investigating homicide at Phoenix smoke shop

PHOENIX -- Police are investigating an apparent homicide at a smoke shop.

It happened at the Smoke N Pipe store on Indian School Road just west of Fifth Avenue.

Police responded to the scene at about 10 a.m. Tuesday after someone called 911 to report a possible burglary. They found a small fire and then they found a body.

"The caller indicated that there was possibly a commercial burglary at this smoke shop," said Officer James Holmes with the Phoenix Police Department. "The officers had to extinguish some type of paper or what have you. It wasn't a big fire."

The victim is Kadhim Al-Taee, 47, who was an employee at the smoke shop. Police will not say how he was killed but did say there are obvious signs of trauma.

Police also said that there appeared to be a struggle in the store and that the store had been ransacked.

Police do not know if anything was taken.

They are looking for three suspects.

Police are also trying to find a 2004 gold-colored Cadillac Escalade with Arizona license plate AJH2773.

Anyone with information on the Cadillac or the incident at the smoke shop should call 911 or Silent Witness at 480-948-6377.