Phoenix church employee killed in shooting


by Tanya Mendis

Bio | Email | Follow: @tanyamendis

Posted on June 24, 2014 at 5:49 PM

Updated Friday, Jun 27 at 12:27 PM

Map: Homicide

View larger map

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- A 72-year-old man was found shot to death in his car at his home on Tuesday morning, according to Officer Tracey Breeden with the Glendale Police Department.

Police were called to a residence just before 7 a.m. in the area of 4400 W. Maryland Avenue when a neighbor saw Mark Leroy Woodruff unresponsive in the driver's seat of his vehicle.

Woodruff was dead inside his vehicle, with the engine still running, parked in the driveway. Police said he had been shot one time. He was declared deceased at the scene by the Glendale Fire Department.

Woodruff worked as a night custodian at Christ the Redeemer Lutheran Church at 8801 N. 43rd Ave. in Phoenix since 1995.

"It is a shock to find out a co-worker of yours has been killed," says Robert Woods, who worked with Woodruff for years as a custodian at the church. "We would get off at 1:00, 2:00 in the morning and he would head home and I would head home."

At first glance, police thought the death was a suicide. However, homicide detectives have obtained information and evidence that leads them to believe Woodruff was killed sometime after arriving home in the early morning hours. Police do not have any leads or persons of interest in this case, and no witnesses have come forward.

His friend tells us that Woodruff was well-liked and appeared to have no enemies. "Everybody who talked to him or talked about him always had good things to say about him," says Woods.

Anyone with information on the homicide should call Glendale Police Department at 623-930-3173 or Silent Witness at 480-948-6377.