Police find truck stolen from smoke shop shooting victim

Posted: Updated:
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

PEORIA, Ariz. -- The search continues for the suspect who shot and killed two people and wounded a third in the course of a robbery at a Peoria smoke shop Tuesday afternoon. Less than 24 hours after the incident, police found the truck believed to have been stolen by the suspect as he fled the scene.

Peoria police were called to a shooting at Euphorium Emporium near Lake Pleasant Parkway just south of Deer Valley Road at approximately 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.

SWAT officers searched the store, and  confirmed that a man and a woman were found dead inside the business.

Police have identified them as Kenneth Matlock, 60, and Melinda Bowen, 38, both of Peoria. Investigators believe Matlock and Bowen were customers, but say they were not together.

Police spokesman Jay Davies said a third person ran out of the store after being shot. He was airlifted to a local hospital for treatment and is expected to recover. Investigators have not released the name of that 51-year-old Peoria man.

Police are still searching for the suspect described as a clean-cut white man in his late teens to early 20s, 5 feet 8 inches tall, weighing 150 pounds. He fled on foot, wearing dark clothes and a black beanie-style cap.

Police say the shop owner was inside, but ran when the gunman opened fire and did not get a good look at him.

"If you can imagine the scramble as these folks ran for their lives, we just didn't get a good description of the suspect from any witness," Davies said.

Detectives believe the suspect stole Matlock's truck, a 2004 silver Dodge Dakota with the Arizona license plate 502-WKR, a Chicago Bears plate on the front and a plastic bedliner with handles. They do not think Matlock knew the suspect.

At about 9:40 a.m. Wednesday, investigators found that truck abandoned in the parking lot of the Walgreens at 27th and Glendale avenues in Phoenix. Specialists are now processing the Dakota for evidence.

Investigators believe this was a random robbery and are hoping physical evidence, like shell casings and a bag dropped just outside the door of the shop, will lead them to a suspect, but they say they have no viable leads.