In an apparent murder-suicide in Mesa, police say a man shot and murdered his mother and sister before turning the pistol on himself.
At 8th Avenue and Country Club Road, a group of apartments served as the crime scene. On April 3, just after 7:30 p.m., according to police, officers responded to allegations of a shooting at an apartment.
Officers spoke with a man who had contacted police after arriving at the scene. The man claimed that he shared an apartment with his 46-year-old girlfriend and her children and that he discovered his girlfriend, her son, 21, and daughter, 14, all dead when he returned from work.
At the apartment, each victim was in a different room. Aide D. Popoca, 46, Ashley Popoca, 14, and Rafael Popoca, 21, who is thought to be the shooter, are their names.
According to investigators, the scene’s evidence is compatible with a murder-suicide. “It appears that the male shot his mother and sister and then shot himself,” Det. Richard Encinas said.
Neighbors who woke up to see crime scene tape and a sea of police cars were alarmed by the violent scene. “Tragic. Very tragic. It also makes me wonder what else is around in this neighborhood,” said Darell.
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An opinion shared by Nicole, another neighbor. “It’s really scary to know that’s happening in my neighborhood. I mean, I’m a young girl living with another young girl on a ground floor, so to know that’s happening around us is pretty scary,” she said.
Uneasy that allegedly someone killed those he ought to have loved the most. “Especially among family like that, you know. Mental illness was probably playing a role, and it’s just really tragic,” Nicole said.
The inquiry is still ongoing.
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