Ex-employee claims widespread dysfunction at Phoenix group home where teen was killed

Some lawmakers are wondering why the group home hasn’t been shut down.
Published: Sep. 29, 2022 at 6:29 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — State lawmakers made it clear from the start. They want to know why 18-year-old T’revonsay Sales was shot and killed at a Phoenix group home earlier this month. During an oversight hearing at the state capitol Thursday, state Sen. Nancy Barto, a Republican from Phoenix, read an email from a former employee of North Star Independent Living Services alleging widespread dysfunction and lack of control. “The youth involved in North Star have open access to the communities, substance use such as drugs and alcohol, regular theft on campus, regular violence on campus,” said Barto, reading the email. “Weapons such as guns and knives, and don’t have access to behavioral health care.”

All the tough questions were directed at Mike Faust, director of Arizona Child Protective Services, who provided new insight into what happened. According to Faust, some guns and drugs were found on the property on Sept. 3 and Phoenix police were called out. Apparently, the victim was removed from the home but returned in the middle of the night and was shot and killed. “Despite being discharged from the group home, the victim returns to the property in the middle of the night, and is subsequently shot and killed with another stolen weapon,” said Faust.

Some lawmakers are wondering why the group home hasn’t been shut down. The CPS director said an investigation is still underway to determine if the incident could have been prevented and who’s to blame.

He laid out a number of changes to be made at the facility, everything from added security to a review of all youth cases. “The youth we are talking about in this particular episode, the actual murder of a child, are not indicative of the 11,600 kids in foster care,” said Faust. “They are not.”

North Star Independent Living Services recently sent AZ Family a statement that read in part: