Man kills mother, teen sister in apparent murder-suicide in Mesa

The victims were found at a complex near 8th Avenue and Country Club Drive.
Published: Apr. 3, 2023 at 9:53 PM MST|Updated: Apr. 4, 2023 at 4:25 PM MST
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MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- Mesa police say that a man shot and killed his mother and teenage sister in an apparent murder-suicide in Monday night.

Just after 7:30 p.m., officers received a call of a possible shooting at a complex near 8th Avenue and Country Club Drive. Officers arrived at the apartment and found the victims, a woman, a man and a teenage girl, all deceased. They have since been identified as Aide D. Popoca, 46, Rafael Popoca, 21, and Ashley Popoca, 14.

In an update, authorities revealed that a man, believed to be Aide’s boyfriend, had called saying that he had found all three people dead inside the apartment after coming home from work. Detectives say that they believe the adult son, Rafael, shot his mother and sister before turning the gun on himself. Police said that each person had been found in a different room of the apartment.

A close family member told Arizona’s Family that they are shocked and heartbroken and that they don’t know why this happened or how to move on without them. Phill Scott, a neighbor, said, “I think it could have happened anywhere and it just happened here. Prayers are with them. Hopefully, they have a strong family support system or church system to help them through it.”

A frequent visitor to the complex named Derek Murphy had this to say about seeking help if you’re experiencing homicidal and/or suicidal thoughts. “Seek help immediately, don’t wait around for it,” he said. “If you need help, go get it. There’s a lot of help out here that you can get.” If you are struggling with these kinds of thoughts, click here for help.

Officers are still investigating the moments that led to their deaths and say that the investigation continues to be in the early stages.