Police: Deadly shooting, wreck in Gilbert not random; 1 arrested

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

GILBERT, Ariz. -- One man is dead, another is behind bars and the search is on for a woman after a shooting led to a bad wreck in a normally quiet East Valley neighborhood.

It happened just before 3 p.m. Sunday near Gilbert and Elliot roads in Gilbert.

According to police, a man and woman in a car got into an argument with a man on a motorcycle.

The man on the motorcycle, identified as Ysidro Cota (pictured above), pulled out a gun and opened fire, hitting the driver of the car.

That driver, Michael Kaftan, tried to get away but crashed into a parked car. Both vehicles flipped onto their sides.

Kaftan, 48,died at the scene. Chantal Cassidy, the woman who was with Kaftan, suffered minor injuries from the crash. Police are not sure how Kaftan and Cassidy, 29, are connected.

While they are still piecing together the details of what happened in the moments before bullets started flying, detectives believe those involved knew each other.

"We do know this crime was not a random act of violence," said Lt. John Lyle of the Mesa Police Department. "Information gathered shows Cota and Kaftan knew each other before the incident took place [Sunday]. The extent of their relationship is not known."

Officers were able to track down and arrest Cota several hours after the shooting, but the case is far from closed.

"At this time the motive for the shooting is still unknown, however detectives are attempting to identify and locate a female who was reportedly on the back of the motorcycle with Ysidro when the shooting took place," Lyle said.

Police have not released any information about that woman.

Cota has been booked on suspicion of second-degree murder and aggravated assault.