Drugs, possible retaliation motive of deadly shooting at Tempe IKEA parking lot
TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - Two men are in jail after police say they shot and killed a man during a drug sale in the Tempe Ikea parking lot on Monday.
“I grew up here in Tempe; I had several family members and friends sending text messages and calling about this incident. It affects a lot of people in our community,” Detective Natalie Barela with the Tempe Police Department said. “This was an isolated, targeted incident with these individuals,” she continued.
Witnesses report seeing two men fighting with 21-year-old Chris McCrimmon before the shooting, detectives say in court records. After hearing gunshots, witnesses saw the two men get into a Ford Expedition and leave the area. Officers from various other police departments found the SUV 30 miles to the south of Tempe in the City of Maricopa. Police were able to stop the SUV and took the passenger, later identified as 18-year-old Isaiah Williams, and the driver, Saif Woods, into custody.
Detectives say the suspects allegedly tossed a backpack they stole from McCrimmon’s car while fleeing towards Maricopa. Officers found marijuana, a revolver with one used cartridge, and another handgun inside the bag.
Williams and Woods allegedly told officers that they were meeting McCrimmon to buy marijuana from him. Officers say in court paperwork that the pair were planning to beat and rob McCrimmon after he allegedly robbed them months earlier.
When they got to the Ikea parking lot, McCrimmon recognized Williams and tried to pull a gun from his waistband. Investigators believe McCrimmon dropped his gun after being punched, and all three then started fighting for control of the gun. Investigators believe one of them gained control of the gun and fired about two to three shots, with one hitting McCrimmon. McCrimmon was taken to the hospital, where he later died from his injuries. Police did not say who may have fired the shots in court paperwork.
“It’s really unfortunate and really sad to hear that you cannot feel safe any longer,” Jose Vaca, a shopper, said. He told Arizona’s Family crew he had second thoughts about going to Ikea Tuesday. “Sort of, kinda, but you gotta do what you gotta do, right? I’m not going to live in fear,” he said.
Williams was booked into jail and is facing multiple felony charges. Woods is also in jail, but it’s unclear what charges he may face.
The brazenness of the crime stood out to us. Arizona’s Family went to ASU Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice – Dr. Michael Scott – for insight. “This is an unusual situation or incident but not entirely unforeseen,” he said. He added it’s part of a national trend he attributes to the pandemic and more relaxed gun control laws.
Dr. Scott explained why it’s important for police to keep the community updated on developments. “The police want to make sure that the public is aware of not only what happened but why it happened,” Dr. Scott explained.
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