Murder suspect claims he was drinking with family at time of double shooting

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Arturo Perez, 22 arrested for second degree murder in Mesa shooting. (Source: Mesa Police Department) Arturo Perez, 22 arrested for second degree murder in Mesa shooting. (Source: Mesa Police Department)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

A Mesa man was charged with second-degree murder and aggravated assault in a double shooting offered police an alibi, saying he was drinking with his aunt and cousins when his ex-roommate and that man’s girlfriend were shot.

It happened Friday at an apartment Arturo Sanchez Perez shared with Jesse Ibarra, also 22, for less than three months earlier this year. It’s not clear if the two men were acquainted before that.

According to court documents, police believe Sanchez “forcibly entered the secured residence” shortly before 1 a.m. and then shot Ibarra three times. They say Perez then went to the bedroom and shot Ibarra’s 19-year-old girlfriend, Unique Aguilera, five times. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

[ORIGINAL STORY: 1 dead, 1 injured after shooting in Mesa]

In the probable cause for arrest statement, police say Ibarra told officers responding to the 911 call reporting the shooting that Perez, his former roommate, was the shooter. He later identified a photo of Perez.

Police said Ibarra’s new roommate told them Ibarra and Perez had a previous argument “over possibly infidelities with the defendant’s girlfriend.”

Detectives who interviewed Perez said he admitted living with Ibarra for a time, but said he “denied an argument and stated he moved out of the apartment because he wanted to be with his girlfriend.”

Police said Perez also denied being at the apartment at the time of the shooting.

“He stated he was at his aunt’s house drinking alcohol with several cousins,” according to the probable cause for arrest statement.

Police said the aunt backed up what Perez had told them.

“[S]he claimed he was at her residence all night drinking alcohol,” the arresting officer wrote in court paperwork.

Police, however, were not ready to release Perez, still believing he was the shooter.

Investigators went back to the surviving victim.

Once Ibarra was out of surgery, police said he “confirmed several times that the defendant shot him” and Aguilera.

When detectives questioned Perez again, however, he stuck with his alibi.

Perez made his initial court appearance Monday. A judge set bond at $750,000 and scheduled a status conference for June 22, and a preliminary hearing for June 27.

If he posts bond, Perez will be subject to electronic monitoring.

At this point, it’s not clear if Perez has a violent history or criminal record.

[PDF: Court paperwork for Arturo Sanchez Perez]