Suspect arrested in fatal shooting of church employee

Posted: Updated:
Gustin Ray Woodman By Jennifer Thomas Gustin Ray Woodman By Jennifer Thomas
Mark Woodruff By Jennifer Thomas Mark Woodruff By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Glendale police say an incarcerated man in Pennsylvania is accused of fatally shooting a church employee in June.
They say 24-year-old Gustin Ray Woodman, of Glendale, has been indicted for first-degree murder in the death of Mark Woodruff during a robbery attempt.

"I just feel like my whole sense of reality has been twisted sideways," said Zachary Woodruff, the victim's son. "I was really looking forward to lots of good times with my dad and now, you know, I just have to imagine what they could have been like."
Glendale police say Woodman will be extradited to Arizona to face charges.
They say he recently was arrested in a robbery case in Berks County, Pennsylvania.
The 72-year-old Mark Woodruff was found shot in his car on June 24 and later pronounced dead.
He worked as a night custodian at a Phoenix church.

"I can't even imagine the guy who killed my dad got more than a hundred bucks or something," Zachary Woodruff said. "My dad probably would have given that to him if he'd asked."
Police say Woodman, a parolee, was pulled over for a street racing two days after the killing and was in possession of a handgun that was seized.

"During the interview, he confesses to his involvement in the killing of Mark Woodruff, and the motive was robbery," said Glendale police spokeswoman Officer Tracey Breeden.
Tests later tied the gun to the fatal shooting.

"It's a great source of closure in the sense of not having your imagination go wild wondering who did it," Zachary Woodruff said.

Still, he often thinks about how his two sons will grow up without their grandfather.

"There's no substitute for that," he said. "They're never going to be able to remember their grandfather now."

Statement from Mark Woodruff's Family:

"We, the family of Mark Woodruff, would like to express our continued disbelief, shock and devastation at the loss of a cherished father, grandfather, brother, and friend to many. Mark Woodruff's thoughtful, witty, creative spirit constantly brought warmth, insight and laughter into our lives, and the world is a darker place without him.

"Mark's children, Marcy Woodruff and Zachary Woodruff, are grateful for the memories of their dad, yet deeply disturbed at no longer having the opportunity to make more. They had been looking forward to numerous years filled with happy experiences, family gatherings, vacations, and other memories shared alongside their father.

"Mark Woodruff was the type of person who always sought to understand and look for the best in others. That anyone would choose to destroy his life is unfathomably senseless. His murder will haunt and grieve us for the rest of our lives.

"We are thankful for the tenacious investigative work by the Glendale Police Department, especially Detective Eric Holmstedt. We are hopeful that the justice system will work effectively and conclusively.

"We have been deeply touched by the kindness of both friends and strangers throughout this agonizing ordeal."


Police seek help identifying person of interest in Glendale homicide

Phoenix church employee killed in shooting