2 teens detained in Valley grandfather's shooting death

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by Catherine Holland

azfamily.com

Posted on July 20, 2011 at 7:18 AM

Updated Thursday, Jul 21 at 2:07 PM

Map: Near 23rd Avenue and Cactus Road

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PHOENIX – Police have detained two teens in connection with the shooting death of a Valley grandfather.

Milton Raffle, 78, was out for his nightly walk in a Phoenix park Tuesday when he was shot and killed.

Brandon Roberts and Nadeem Alferikh, both 17 years old, were taken into custody by Phoenix police Wednesday night.

Police said the public was instrumental in leading them to the young suspects.

According to investigators, a man on a bicycle discovered Raffle unconscious and unresponsive in Sand Lilly Park near 24th Avenue and Cactus Road. He had suffered severe trauma.

Raffle was rushed to John C. Lincoln Hospital, but he did not survive his injuries.

According to Sgt. Tommy Thompson of the Phoenix Police Department, Raffle customarily went for walks at about  9 or 9:30 each night. He has done so for 25 years in order to stay healthy. His sons usually checked in on him after his nightly walks, but when they arrived at his house Tuesday night, Raffle was not there.

Raffle was found shortly after midnight. It’s not clear how long he had been in the park.

Raffle is described as a loving husband, father and grandfather. He had been caring for his wife, who is battling cancer, and often looked after his grandchildren, police said.

Raffle's sons said their dad would have helped anybody and routinely carried a little bit of cash to give to the homeless if needed. They don't understand why anyone would want to hurt their father.

"It's senseless," Lee Raffle said.

Thompson said investigators know exactly how Raffle died, but they initially were not releasing any specific details.

"There's only a select few, other than investigators, who know what the cause of death was," he explained. "We want to use that as part of the investigation to pinpoint the people who committed this crime."

Investigators said they have determined the motive for the deadly shooting, but they will not be releasing any information until later Thursday. Thompson said detectives worked more than 24 hours straight on the case to piece everything together and make their arrests.

Raffle would have celebrated his 79th birthday and his 60th wedding anniversary later this month.

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