Man claims “self-defense, PTSD” after deadly Tempe smoke shop shooting

Officers say 20-year-old Paris Mosley was taken into custody on Thursday afternoon.
Officers say 20-year-old Paris Mosley was taken into custody on Thursday afternoon.(MCSO)
Published: Jul. 8, 2022 at 4:15 PM MST
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TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- A man is facing felony charges after police say he shot and killed another man inside a Tempe smoke shop on the Fourth of July. Officers say 20-year-old Paris Mosley was taken into custody on Thursday afternoon.

On Monday just before noon, police arrived at the shopping center near 48th Street and Baseline Road after receiving calls of a shooting. Witnesses reportedly told officers two men were seen shooting and running away from the shop. Another witness also told police a silver or gray Dodge Charger pulled up, picked up the two men, and drove away. Officers found a man shot inside the smoke shop. The man was taken to the hospital but later died from his injuries. A bystander was also hit during the exchange of gunfire but had minor injuries.

Moments before the shooting, surveillance video shows Mosley and two other men pulling up in a silver Dodge Charger and going into the shop. According to court documents, Mosley and another man stayed inside the store while the other man returned to the car. Investigators say as the victim went into the shop and started to go through the front door, Mosley and the other man began shooting at him as they tried to leave. The victim tried to shoot back at the two men but fell down. The victim shot the bystander through the foot, and the suspects took off from the scene.

Tempe police arrested Mosley Thursday during a traffic stop for an outstanding felony warrant. According to court documents, police found a gun and magazine on the car’s floorboard. During an interview with detectives, Mosley told officers he took the light rail, a bus, and walked to the smoke shop. However, when police showed photos from surveillance video of him getting out of the Dodge Charger with the two other men, he didn’t respond to officers. Mosley then told investigators he had PTSD from other shootings, so when the victim took out his gun and shot at him, he began to shoot back and acted in self-defense. Court documents state investigators confronted Mosley with video surveillance of him drawing his gun before the victim drew his, to which Mosley responded about “not caring about going to jail, as long as it wasn’t for the rest of his life.”

Mosley admitted to throwing his phone out of his car on the freeway so officers couldn’t find him. Court paperwork says he then told officers he burned the clothes he was wearing during the shooting and denied knowing the two men. Investigators say Mosley had a plan to avoid officers and had a history of living in Texas, California, and Arizona. Finally, he admitted to officers he had fired his gun two to three times.

Mosley faces one count of second-degree murder, one count of endangerment, two counts of aggravated assault, one count of tampering with evidence, one count of carrying a deadly weapon, and one count of discharging a firearm within a city limit.