Three arrested in connection with fatal drug deal

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck
Justin Whitley By Andrew Michalscheck Justin Whitley By Andrew Michalscheck
Justin Drennan By Andrew Michalscheck Justin Drennan By Andrew Michalscheck
Josh Rasmussen By Andrew Michalscheck Josh Rasmussen By Andrew Michalscheck

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Three people are facing first-degree murder and armed robbery charges for their alleged roles in a fatal drug deal.

According to Glendale Police, 19-year-old Josh Rasmussen, 19-year-old Justin Whitley, and 21-year-old Justin Drennan were arrested early Saturday morning for reportedly trying to steal drugs and money from a 17-year-old.

Rasmussen, Whitley, Drennan and a 17-year-old had agreed to meet up with another 17-year-old in the area of 6400 W. Behrend to purchase drugs.

During their meeting, the 17-year-old with Rasmussen, Whitley, and Drennan reportedly pointed what appeared to be a handgun at the 17-year-old who was selling the drugs.

The gun was actually a BB gun, but the teen selling the drugs pulled out his own handgun and shot the 17-year-old in what police said appeared to be self-defense.

The 17-year-old who was shot was taken to a local hospital and then air lifted to a trauma center. He was declared dead on Saturday afternoon.

The alleged 17-year-old drug dealer was taken to the hospital with minor injuries and then released to his parents.

Police said second-degree murder and drug related charges will be submitted to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office against the 17-year-old.

Rasmussen, Whitley, and Drennan are facing first-degree murder charges due to the Felony Murder Rule, which stipulates that an individual can be charged with murder if someone is killed while they're committing a felony.