MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- Police say two people have been shot and killed overnight near E Broadway and S Signal Butte Roads in Mesa following a fight between neighbors.
Mesa police say it happened around 11:49 p.m. Thursday. When officers arrived on the scene, they found two bodies lying on the sidewalk with gunshot wounds. Police identified the two as 54-year-old Shawn Conner and 39-year-old Ivana Liversedge.
Investigators believe this started when 41-year-old Justin Peterson was outside in the street, trying to speak with Liversedge. Peterson told detectives that he, his wife, and Liversedge were in a casual romantic relationship for several weeks but recently had a falling out.
Surveillance video from the area reportedly showed Peterson yelling from across the street and getting into an argument with his wife. Conner and Liversedge eventually confronted Peterson and his wife and got into a fight. Police said that the surveillance video shows Peterson walking away out of the camera's view while being followed by Conner and Liversedge.
Peterson's wife told investigators her husband walked past her and into their home. After asking Liversedge what was happening, Peterson's wife claims Liversedge then pointed a gun at her. Peterson's wife says she grabbed the gun from Liversedge, but Conner then grabbed the gun from her. According to his wife, Peterson came back outside the home and shot both Liversedge and Conner to defend her.
A neighbor told police they saw Peterson's wife fighting with Liversedge when Peterson approached the two. The neighbor, who was inside their home at the time, noticed gunshot flashes as Peterson fired multiple rounds at Liversedge and Conner. When Peterson ran back into his home, the neighbor went outside to find Liversedge and Conner dead in the street.
Another witness who stopped by the scene after the shooting reportedly called the police and said he had taken a revolver from the scene. The witness wasn't able to explain why they took the gun, which investigators later took custody of.
According to court paperwork, when investigators asked Peterson's wife where the gun used by Peterson was stored, she said it was kept in a safe in the master bedroom in the back of their home. Peterson's wife said the safe required the use of a dial to unlock it. But when detectives later served their search warrant, they described the safe as being closed, with a towel cloth over the dial and multiple items in front of the door, indicating the gun was out of the safe before the shooting. Police said it appears the gun wasn't stored in the safe since the items in front of the door didn't appear to have been moved.
Criminal charges for Conner's death is under investigation because police say Conner was initially found with a revolver that was later taken from the scene by a witness. Detectives are investigating if whether or not the shooting death of Conner was in self-defense. As a result of the investigation thus far, police have recommended Peterson be charged with second-degree murder for the death of Liversedge since she didn't have the gun and was no longer a threat to Peterson or his wife.
Police say there is no danger to the community, but still, some neighbors are still on edge.
“Literally I heard, I can’t even count they were so fast like ‘boom, boom, boom, boom,” said a neighbor, whose car was struck by a bullet. The neighbor asked not to be identified.
“There was just so much chaos. A girl running through the street screaming, a whole bunch of stuff, two people are dead,” the neighbor said. “This has been an accident waiting to happen, and other neighbors even know it.”
She’s still shocked by what unfolded on their typically quiet street.
“This is terrifying because God only knows where the other stray bullets went. I mean, we have kids in the neighborhood,” she said. “No way this was a self-defense case, absolutely no. If that happens, that is crazy.”
The investigation is ongoing.