SAN TAN VALLEY, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- The man accused of shooting his neighbor in San Tan Valley in late October was reportedly in a dispute over a utility pole between the properties, according to the Pinal County Sheriff's Office.
Newly released court documents revealed that tension had been building for about four to five months between 64-year-old Gary Markensen and one of his neighbors near Saddle Way and Taylor Trail. On Oct. 26, PCSO deputies responded to the area for reports of a shooting. The caller told deputies a man had been shot in front of her home, collapsing in their garage, and had "lost a lot of blood." Markensen had also called authorities, telling dispatchers his neighbor had attacked him, pushing him to the ground, and that he shot in self-defense.
Detectives investigated and learned that Markensen and the victim were in an open area between their homes where a metal utility pole was sticking out from the ground when they began arguing. Markensen told deputies the protective cap had been missing for years, so he pushed it down into the ground, worried that someone could fall on it. Later in the day, Markensen claimed the victim had raised the pole back up to its original position and that the victim came out to confront him when he went to push it back down.
According to the investigating detective, Markensen kicked the pole, and the neighbor pushed him to the ground. Markensen got up and pulled his gun from his hip holster, and fired approximately seven shots based on evidence collected at the scene. The victim, who hasn't been identified, was backing away from Markensen and ran away but had been shot five times in the body, left wrist, and left shoulder.
While being interviewed by detectives, Markensen told detectives his neighbor had pushed him from behind and that he feared for his life. Markensen stated he fired the seven shots in five seconds, all from the same spot, and was adamant that he never left his property during the shooting.
However, detectives said based on the evidence at the scene, fired cartridge casings were found 50 feet away from the initial incident, which deputies say indicates Markensen chased the victim as he fired his gun. The victim is expected to survive. Markensen was booked into the Pinal County Jail. He faces one count of aggravated assault.