Man accused of shooting, killing teen girl and young woman in Casa Grande arrested in Texas

Police say that Terrance Xavier Santistevan, 18, left Arizona after the shooting and went to Pflugerville, Texas.
Published: Apr. 30, 2022 at 7:53 PM MST|Updated: Apr. 30, 2022 at 10:06 PM MST
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CASA GRANDE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - Authorities have arrested a man who is believed to have shot and killed a teen girl and a young woman in Casa Grande.

Casa Grande police say detectives received numerous tips from the community and learned during their investigation that a 2006 Chrysler 300 was used as the getaway vehicle after the shooting Sunday night. Police say that Terrance Xavier Santistevan, 18, was believed to be using the Chrysler 300 and was at the scene the night of the shooting. Santistevan reportedly left Arizona after the shooting and went to Pflugerville, Texas. The shooting left 17-year-old Danielle Murrieta and 18-year-old Leslie Cota dead.

Casa Grande Detectives worked with the U.S. Marshal Service and the local Police Department in Texas to find Santistevan in Pflugerville. He was arrested Saturday and is now held in the Travis County Sheriff’s Office Detention Center, waiting to be extradited to Arizona.

“I am extremely proud of the teamwork exhibited by members of our department and our law enforcement partners. Our detectives and other members of our department worked together around the clock to develop leads and simultaneously follow up on numerous tips presented during this investigation. This resulted in three members of our department traveling to Texas and assisting in the apprehension of Terrance Santistevan. I would like to thank members of the victim’s families and our city leadership for not engaging in the social media frenzy involving this case and having the faith to allow our detectives to do their job. Although this is a major piece of the investigation, there is still a lot of work to be done to prepare the best possible case for prosecution,” Casa Grande Police Chief Mark McCrory said.

Police say first-degree murder charges are being recommended to the Pinal County Attorney’s Office. Authorities are still looking for Santistevan’s Chrysler 300. Anyone with information regarding the investigation, including the possible whereabouts of the vehicle, is asked to contact Detective Ellsworth at (520) 421-8711 ext. 6294, or report anonymously to Silent Witness at (520) 836-2100.

Police are still looking for Terrance Xavier Santistevan's 2006 Silver Chrysler 300.
Police are still looking for Terrance Xavier Santistevan's 2006 Silver Chrysler 300.(Source: Casa Grande Police Department)

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Family and friends continue to mourn the deaths of the two young girls who were shot and killed at the Sonoran Apartment Complex. As a mother, Maria Cruz says she was at a loss for words when she heard Danielle and her friend were victims of gun violence.

“I can’t fathom. Having my own kids, losing a child that way and at such a young age,” Cruz said. She tells us Danielle’s family is in mourning but says the community’s support has shown them love in the middle of a difficult situation. “They’re sad. There’s heartache. But, they’re such an awesome family. Together they support each other in every way possible. They’re a beautiful family,” she said.

Michael Welser, the Assistant Manager at Hideout Steakhouse, says Danielle was one of the original employees when the restaurant opened nearly a year ago. He said her mom and sister worked alongside her.

“This just hit really close to home. You know she was about to graduate, she told us all about her plans of going to college and what’s next for her, and for her to be taken so soon it really is devastating,” Welser said. “For those who knew the girls, their goal is to make sure the family is taken care of. “My personal goal is to make sure that they don’t have to worry about bills or food, both families for at least 6 months.”