Police ID woman shot in head; teen suspect held

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by Natalie Rivers

Carina Sonn

Posted on August 15, 2011 at 4:45 PM

Updated Wednesday, Aug 17 at 12:04 PM

MESA, Ariz. - Mesa police say a 42-year-old woman has died at an area hospital after being shot in the head Monday afternoon allegedly by a teen who dated her daughter.

Police have identified the victim as Denna Strebe.

According to police, the shooting took place around 3 p.m. in the laundry room inside her residence near Crismon and Baseline roads. The suspect fled the scene, but not before being spotted by a family member of the victim.

Strebe's husband, their son and nephew were home at the time of the shooting.

Sgt. Ed Wessing said he does not believe they witnessed the shooting, but heard it and rushed to the victim's aid.

Strebe was rushed to the hospital in very critical condition where she was pronounced dead.

Police took the 16-year-old suspect into custody a few hours after the shooting at a nearby apartment complex at Superstition Springs Boulevard and Baseline Road. Police have identified the alleged shooter as Braden Rockriver.

Police are looking into the possibility the shooting stemmed from a domestic dispute involving Rockriver, who was the boyfriend of Strebe's 18-year-old daughter who also lives at the home.

Investigators now know the Strebe's son saw the suspect with a gun in his hand and ran into a bedroom where the suspect and he engaged in a physical confrontation.

The noise woke up Stebe's husband who was able to get the weapon away from Rockriver

Neighbors said the victim's family is very involved with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The teen suspect told investigators he stole his father's pistol from his closet. He accidentally discharged the weapon at his home while loading the gun before heading over to his girlfriend's parent's home.

Rockriver also told investigators he lifted the garage door of Strebe's home and waited about 15 minutes for someone to open the door into the house.

He told police that earlier in the day at school he would get the gun and kill his girlfriend and then himself.

According to the Maricopa County Attoryney's Office, Rockriver will be charged as an adult on one count of first degree murder and one count of first degree burglary.

 

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