UPDATE: Mesa police to hold community meeting about deadly graduation party shootingPosted: Updated:
Mesa shooting suspect caught
Suspect in Mesa graduation party shooting in custody - A fight between a man and his ex-wife turned a high-school graduation party in Mesa into a nightmare when the man went on a shooting spree that left two people dead and six others, including an 8-year-old boy and a police officer, wounded.
UPDATE: Wednesday, May 27
From the Mesa Police Department
MESA -- The Mesa Police Department has scheduled a community meeting to the discuss the double homicide that occurred on May 23, 2009. The meeting will be held on May 28, 2009 at the St. Matthews United Methodist Church located at 2540 W. Baseline in Mesa at 6:30 p.m.
At the meeting, residents will be given any information available about the incident and also allowed to ask questions of the police staff.
Often times there is a great deal of speculation in a community after such a traumatic event. Through community meeting such as this, the department tries to dispel any rumors about what actually happened. Members of the community are encouraged to attend if they have any questions about the incident.
For more information about this meeting please contact Jerry Quarles at 480-6442539 or Denise Traves at 480-644-2620.
UPDATE: Monday, May 25: Police: Jealousy was motive in double killings at Mesa graduation party
MESA -- A man's jealously over his ex-girlfriend turned a high-school graduation party in Mesa into a nightmare when the man went on a shooting spree that left two people dead and six others, including two young boys and a police officer, wounded.
It happened Saturday night near Dobson and Baseline roads in Mesa.
Police said Brent Banks, 37, told them he got jealous when he saw the mother of his son kiss her boyfriend. After seeing the two together, he assaulted the woman, who has been identified as Sally Johnson-Huddleston, 38, and then went to his car and got two loaded handguns. He returned to the front yard of the home where the party was going on and shot Johnson-Huddleston and Auston Blanks, 32.
While it was initially thought that Banks and Johnson-Huddleston had been married, Mesa police said that's not the case.
When patrol officers responded to the scene with their emergency lights on, Banks opened fire again. Investigators said Banks told them he fired at the officers to scare them.
A total of six people were injured, including Banks' own 8-year-old son with Johnson-Huddleston, an unrelated 10-year-old boy and a Mesa police officer.
That wounded officer, Steven Cervantes, has been on the force for two years. He was hit in the arm remains hospitalized. While the 34-year-old is expected to recover, doctors said it will take several surgeries to repair the damage to his arm.
The other people who were injured, including the two boys, are expected to fine. Most of those injuries were relatively minor.
After the shooting, Banks holed up in the house. It was about two hours before police were able to convince him to surrender.
Banks has been booked on a variety of charges, including two counts of first-degree murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon upon a police officer, aggravated asault with a deadly weapon on a minor and kidnapping.
ORIGINAL STORY: Mesa graduation party shooting leaves two dead, four injured
MESA -- Police in Arizona say two people are dead and four others wounded after a shooting at a high school graduation party at a home.
Mesa Police Sgt. Ed Wessing said Sunday that a police officer and a 10-year-old boy were among those injured. The suspect, a 37-year-old man, is in custody after a four-hour standoff at a home near Phoenix.
Wessing says a party guest got into an argument at about 11:30 p.m. Saturday, then got a handgun from his car. The suspect returned and began shooting. A man and a woman were killed. The 10-year-old and a man were grazed in the head and another man was shot in the wrist. Wessing says when police arrived, patrol cars were hit by gunfire and one officer was shot in the left arm.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)