Man arrested for murdering his friend

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By Natalie Flanzer By Natalie Flanzer

MESA, Ariz. - The Mesa Police Department made an arrest in the early morning shooting in the parking lot of a Circle K.

During the investigation, a witness who had been drinking with the suspect and the victim at a bar in Scottsdale earlier in the night came forward.

According to the witness, at some point while in the bar, the suspect had placed the victim in a choke hold and covered his eyes from behind.

The victim, Christopher Chavez, not knowing who was doing this, spun around and pushed the suspect onto the ground. The suspect, identified as Anthony Raimonde, 24, was upset with the victim over the incident because he embarrassed him in front of some female patrons.

The witness told investigators the victim apologized and attempted to explain that he did not know who was choking him and covering his eyes.

Security removed the three from the bar.

Chavez drove the suspect and witness back to Mesa and stopped at the Circle K near Val Vista Drive and Baseline Road for water.

The witness said Raimonde remained angry at Chavez for the bar incident and continued to argue. When Chavez offered Raimonde a bottle of water, he refused and punched him.

A fight ensued but the witness was able to break it up.

At that point, Raimonde removed a handgun from under the passenger seat and pointed it in the direction of Chavez. He then shot Chavez in the face, killing him.

Both the suspect and witness ran from the scene. Officers located the suspected murder weapon in a planter near the Circle K.

The witness said Raimonde and Chavez have been friends for 15 years.

Raimonde requested an attorney and did not provide any statements to police.

He was booked on second-degree murder, aggravated assault, prohibited possessor in possession of a firearm and unlawful discharge of a firearm.