Police charge man in Phoenix shooting that left 1 dead
Curtis D. Decker
PHOENIX (CBS5) -
Phoenix police have arrested and charged a Phoenix man in connection with a homicide Monday at an apartment complex, Phoenix police said.
Curtis D. Decker has been charged with one count of first-degree murder after a shooting that left one man dead.
Phoenix police said they found Ralph Pena shot multiple times at 11019 N. 17th Ave. He was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.
Police said they talked to the Pena's girlfriend, Alicia Frederick, who told them he had been in a fight with Decker earlier in the day and Pena apparently sliced Decker's face with a pocket knife.
Frederick told police she left the apartment and went down the street, leaving the victim with her mother at the apartment. She told police she heard gunshots while at a neighbor's.
Frederick said she saw her mother riding a bike a short time later and asked her what happened but that her mom seemed to be in shock. She said she returned to the apartment and found Pena bleeding from multiple gunshot wounds.
Frederick's mother told police she had been in the back bedroom while Pena remained in the front of the apartment. She said she heard what sounded like a body hitting the ground but was unable to tell for sure because the loud noise of her swamp cooler. She said she discovered Pena's body and went searching for her daughter.
A witness contacted police and said she saw the entire incident. She told police she saw Pena and Decker get into an altercation earlier in the day. She said Decker left, but returned later with another man and woman.
The witness told police she saw Decker pull a black handgun from his waist and shoot Pena multiple times before tucking the gun back in his waistband and fleeing in a brown four-door Nissan.
Decker's name and description of the car was provided by Frederick and her mother and the witness picked him out as the shooter from a photo lineup, police said.
Decker was arrested after police found him staying at a friends house. The friend told police he had been staying there since the murder, but that Decker had told him that he had been accused of a rape he did not commit.
A search of Decker's property uncovered clothing matching the description of the suspect in the shooting, police said. They said they did not find the gun used in the shooting.
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