Teen accused in Peoria smoke-shop murders

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by Jennifer Thomas and Jared Dillingham

Bio | Email | Follow: @JaredDillingham

azfamily.com

Posted on January 19, 2012 at 2:51 PM

Updated Monday, Jan 23 at 3:14 PM

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PEORIA, Ariz. -- A 15-year-old boy believed to be responsible for a shooting at a Peoria smoke shop that left two people dead and a third wounded was taken into custody in Los Angeles.

Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery filed first-degree murder charges against the juvenile, identified as Tyson Langley, Thursday night.

Bond was set at $2 million.

Two Los Angeles patrol officers detained the Phoenix teen Thursday morning after recognizing him from a police bulletin, according to Peoria police spokesman Jay Davies. He was returned to Arizona.

Langley is suspected of shooting three people at Euphorium Emporium near Lake Pleasant Parkway and Deer Valley Road Tuesday afternoon. Kenneth Matlock, 60, and Melinda Bowen, 38, both of Peoria, died at the scene.

Robert Troutman, 51, of Peoria, ran out of the store after being shot. He was airlifted to a local hospital for treatment of a non-fatal gunshot wound to the hip.

The shop's owner, Brent Brown, 54, of Peoria, was also in the store at the time of the shooting but managed to run out and was not injured. 

Police say the suspect took his stepfather's gun to rob the smoke shop. After the shootings, they  believe the teen stole $300 plus another gun from the store, and then stole Matlock's truck. Officers found the truck abandoned in the parking lot of a Walgreens at 27th and Glendale avenues in Phoenix Wednesday morning.

Detectives checked with the Greyhound bus station across from the Walgreens and learned Langley had boarded a bus to the Los Angeles area. A law enforcement bulletin was sent to agencies in California.

According to the Los Angeles Police Department, officers found a semi-automatic handgun in Langley's bag and he was detained on a weapons charge. The teen did not put up a fight when officers went to take him into custody.

Langley was a sophomore at Sandra Day O'Connor High School on Happy Valley Road in North Phoenix. Students found out about the accusations against their classmate Thursday afternoon.

"I'm just shocked," said sophomore Larry Fuller, who rode the same bus as Langley. "He was quiet. Just not the type of kid who's capable of something like this."

Langley played football and was a member of the Junior Varsity Wrestling squad.

The 15-year-old's Maricopa County Juvenile Court Record reveals he got into trouble in 2008, but the case never went to trial. Documents say he was accused of criminal damage and theft but was put into a diversion program and on probation.

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