Suspect in Tempe love triangle shooting opens up to police - CBS 5 - KPHO

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Suspect in Tempe love triangle shooting opens up to police

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Moises Gutierrez, 22, is accused in the fatal shooting of a man at a Tempe intersection on Tuesday. (Source: CBS 5 News) Moises Gutierrez, 22, is accused in the fatal shooting of a man at a Tempe intersection on Tuesday. (Source: CBS 5 News)
The incident happened at the intersection of 48th and Baseline. (Source: CBS 5 News) The incident happened at the intersection of 48th and Baseline. (Source: CBS 5 News)
(Source: CBS 5 News) (Source: CBS 5 News)
(Source: CBS 5 News) (Source: CBS 5 News)
(Source: CBS 5 News) (Source: CBS 5 News)
TEMPE, AZ (CBS5) -

A federal law enforcement agent was at the right place at the right time and helped catch a gunman involved in a crash and deadly shooting Tuesday morning in Tempe, according to police.

The incident appeared to be a road rage situation but authorities later learned it may have been started from a love triangle. The drivers and passengers in the two vehicles involved knew each other and police believe the shooting most likely was bravado from two men who dated the same woman.

Moises Gutierrez's current girlfriend is the ex-girlfriend of the victim, 21-year-old Zachary Rodriguez, and the mother of the victim's child, court documents stated. 

According to court paperwork, Gutierrez and his girlfriend drove to the Rodriguez's neighborhood Tuesday morning. He brought with him his semi-automatic pistol and automatic rifle, police said. 

When they saw Rodriguez walking through the neighborhood, the pair drove away, officers said. 

A woman stopped and picked up Rodriguez. They followed the vehicle Gutierrez was driving out to Baseline Road, police said.    

As Gutierrez and his girlfriend continued driving, he got into the backseat and loaded his rifle and aimed it at Rodriguez's vehicle, authorities said. Rodriguez was sticking his head out the passenger window and waving at Gutierrez's car, according to court documents. 

Gutierrez stopped at 48th Street and Baseline Road while the light was green because there was another vehicle in front of them.  

The SUV Rodriguez was driving collided with the rear of Gutierrez's vehicle, police said. 

Gutierrez shot Rodriguez as the victim appeared to be climbing out of his vehicle, court documents stated. Police said Gutierrez also shot at the driver's side of the SUV where the woman was seated. 

The victims were not armed. 

At least five bullets struck the victims' vehicle, and there were multiple bullet strikes to the passenger's side and the driver's side of the SUV, according to the police report.  

CBS 5 News spoke with the victim's family who said a woman was in the SUV with him and he was trying to shield her from the bullets when he was struck.

Several witnesses tried to help him while the shooter simply put his gun away and paced the intersection, according to police.

"Just as that was happening, there was another vehicle that pulled up. It was a federal law enforcement officer that was on his way to work. He got out, found out that there was a shooting. He asked where the suspect was, all the witnesses pointed to the suspect. The federal agent was able to pull his handgun out. He drew down on him. He was able to take him into custody. He didn't resist," Tempe Police Department spokesman Sgt. Mike Pooley said.

The federal agent is from Homeland Security and was on his way to Phoenix for work.

Rodriguez died from his injuries at a nearby hospital.

Police said there was a third vehicle in front of the one that was struck but when the gunfire started, that driver sped off into the parking lot across the street.

During a police interview, Gutierrez changed his story multiple times, investigators said. He said it was a coincidence that they drove through the victim's neighborhood and that he always kept the rifle in his trunk out of habit.  

The suspect  later admitted that they were intentionally driving to the victim's home, and that he brought the rifle with him in anticipation of a confrontation with the victim, police said.  

Gutierrez also admitted that he was mad at the victim and that some of his decisions that day were made out of anger, according to authorities.  

Gutierrez said that he wanted to show his girlfriend that he was capable of protecting her from the victim, police said.  

Police investigators said the suspect is an admitted firearms enthusiast and a self-proclaimed gang member. The victim was wearing red clothing, including a red bandana on his face, consistent with that same gang, police said. 

Gutierrez was booked into Tempe City Jail on charges of first-degree murder, drive-by shooting, and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. 

Police said the investigation is ongoing.

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