PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Police have arrested a 71-year-old suspect in connection to a shooting that left a 19-year-old dead in west Phoenix Monday afternoon.
It happened around 3:30 p.m. at a house near 69th Avenue, just north of Van Buren Street. Court documents state that the victim, 19-year-old Xavier Henriquez, was on the phone when a man came up to him and started arguing with him. The person who was on the other end of the phone call said the man was yelling at Henriquez about his dog barking. The person said they then heard a shot followed by Henriquez struggling to breathe.
Sgt. Ann Justus with Phoenix police said when officers responded to the shooting, they found Henriquez with a gunshot wound to the head. He was rushed to the hospital in extremely critical condition; doctors later pronounced him dead.
Documents state that only one witness reported seeing anything related to the shooting. That witness, later identified as 71-year-old Manuel De La Cruz-Rodriguez, told detectives that he saw a man and a woman on bicycles ride up to the victim just before the shooting. He said he heard a loud boom and saw them ride away. Investigators looked at surveillance video from nearby houses and never saw anyone riding bikes in the area at that time. But they were able to see the shooting take place.
Court documents state that surveillance video shows a man in a blue shirt walk up to Henriquez while he was on the phone. The man, who police say is De La Cruz-Rodriguez, is seen arguing with the victim and holding something in his hand and raising it up to the victim before he falls to the ground. Police say De La Cruz-Rodriguez then walked back to his house down the street and then came back over to Henriquez's house and knocked on the door. Police say he told the residents that Henriquez was injured in the driveway.
Documents state that when police first spoke to De La Cruz-Rodriguez, he was wearing the same blue shirt seen in the surveillance video. When he was later interviewed by detectives, he had changed clothing. Police say the suspect's son told them that he has a black revolver that is in the house. De La Cruz-Rodriguez denied shooting the victim and owning a handgun. He told police that he had sold the handgun a long time ago. Police say he was not able to explain why he is seen on the surveillance video. He was booked into Maricopa County Jail on one count of second-degree murder.
Editor's note: This story has been updated to say that the victim was 19 years old. Phoenix police originally provided information that said the victim was 71.