Police: 3 shooters who killed Phoenix woman inside car thought they heard gunshots first

Police say Yenni Dominguez-Leyva was hit by the random gunfire inside the car while holding a baby in her lap.
Published: Oct. 11, 2022 at 5:00 PM MST|Updated: Oct. 11, 2022 at 8:50 PM MST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - The man and two teenagers who allegedly shot and killed a woman riding in a car in west Phoenix on Monday said they thought they heard gunfire coming from the car as it passed their home, according to court documents.

According to court documents, Martin Ramirez, 19, and two underage teens started shooting at the car passing by their duplex near 32nd Avenue and McDowell Road just after midnight. They later said they thought they’d heard gunfire coming from the car, but that they hadn’t seen it, police said. Later, the three told officers they believed they’d been robbed earlier in September and had been getting threatening calls from the alleged thief who said they were going to come to their house. So when they saw the car while standing outside their home, the three thought it was the caller coming to their house, court documents say.

A family of eight was inside the car when the three opened fire, and 35-year-old Yenni Dominguez-Leyva was hit. Court documents say she was in the front passenger’s seat with a baby on her lap. The family was trying to pick up her 16-year-old son from a nearby home when it happened. The driver sped off and went to a nearby AM/PM at 27th Ave. and McDowell Road to call for help but Dominguez-Leyva died at the gas station. Police said another adult in the car was grazed by a bullet on their right arm.

“They took my wife, the mother of my kids. He left my kids without a mom,” said Alejandro Hernandez, husband of Dominguez-Leyva. “We are so sad. It is very bad but I have to be brave for my kids.”

Investigators also found bullet holes at Fire Station 14, but no one was hurt. Police say thanks to witnesses they were able to track down Ramirez and the two teens to the duplex. They were later arrested.

Ramirez was booked into jail on various counts of discharging a firearm at a structure, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated assault with serious physical injury, aggravated assault on an adult, endangerment, second-degree murder, and discharging a firearm in city limits. His bond was set at $1 million. The other two teenagers were booked into a juvenile detention center.

A GoFundMe has been created to help the Dominguez-Leyva family with funeral expenses. Click here to donate.