Fight between father, son leads to Maricopa assualt, suicide

Posted: Updated:

MARICOPA -- Police say a fight between a father and son led up to a late-night shooting in Maricopa.

Witnesses interviewed

Officers were called out to a neighborhood near Highway 238 and Smith Enke Road, which is a relatively new part of town, shortly before 11:30 p.m. Sunday.

Initial details were sketchy, but after investigators talked to people who witnessed the incident they determined Darold Fenlon, 68, fired shots at his son and dog before turning the gun on himself.

Fenlon died at the scene from his self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The following is a press release from the Maricopa Police Department:

On 08/03/08, at 11:10 pm the Maricopa Police Department responded to the area of 18900 N. Shelby Dr. on multiple calls of gun shots being fired in the area.Officers spoke with several neighbors who confirmed they had heard what they thought were gun shots near their homes.

About this time an additional 911 call was received by a 38 year old homeowner on Shelby Dr. who stated his father had shot a gun at him.The victim was calling from a location away from his residence.

Officer responded to speak to the victim, last name James.James indicated he and his father who lives with him on Shelby Dr. were having a party with several friends.At about 11:00 pm on Sunday, both James and his father were intoxicated and became involved in a verbal altercation.The altercation escalated into a physical confrontation.James stated during the physical altercation he pushed his father to the ground.At this time the 68 year old father made a verbal threat that he was going to kill James.The verbal threat was

witnessed by a friend who was still present at the residence.Both the father and the son went into the house.

According to the friend, the father came into the backyard a short time later brandishing a handgun and asking where his son was.The friend attempted to persuade the father from committing any more violence.The friend indicated that the father pointed the gun at the friend.The friend backed off and the father then fired at least two shots into the rear of the residence.The friend fled on foot.James advised that he too heard the shots and fled the residence.

Maricopa Police Officers responded to James address on Shelby Dr.There Officers located a 68 year old male with a gun shot wound to the head near the outside of the front door.The male, later identified as the father Darold Fenlon, showed signs of life.The Maricopa Fire Department responded and began treating Fenlon.The fire department was preparing to transport Fenlon by air ambulance when he was pronounced deceased at 12:17 am.

During a search of the residence three dogs were found.One of the dogs, a large Rottweiler, was found to be deceased due to a recent gun shot wound.All three dogs were conveyed by PCSO Humane.Several rifles from the residence and a hand gun found near Fenlon were seized by investigators.

Fenlon was conveyed by the Pinal County Medical Examiner for determination on cause of death.The preliminary investigation indicates aggravated assault/animal cruelty/suicide, with Fenlon as the subject in each.