Stepbrother shot dead at Phoenix family gathering - CBS 5 - KPHO

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Stepbrother shot dead at Phoenix family gathering

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(Source: CBS 5 News) (Source: CBS 5 News)
Thomas Woods is suspected of shooting his stepbrother during an argument at a Tempe park on Friday night. (Source: Tempe Police Department) Thomas Woods is suspected of shooting his stepbrother during an argument at a Tempe park on Friday night. (Source: Tempe Police Department)
(Source: CBS 5 News) (Source: CBS 5 News)
TEMPE, AZ (CBS5) -

A Valley family is grieving after a Fourth of July celebration turned deadly.

One man is dead and the alleged killer, his stepbrother, is sitting in a jail cell.

"The brother, he's no longer here, and the other son's going to be charged with his murder now," Tempe police Lt. Mike Pooley said.

About 11:30 p.m. Friday, and in the middle of a Tempe park packed with families celebrating Independence Day, Thomas Woods allegedly grabbed a gun and shot his stepbrother, Martin Woods, during an argument, Pooley said.

Pooley said the incident started at Kiwanis Park under one of the ramadas, where the victim's family was gathered.

At some point, an argument between 37-year-old Thomas Woods and his unarmed stepbrother erupted in gunfire. The violence ended at a strip mall near Baseline Road and Mill Avenue. Pooley said that's where the victim's mother and father, as well as Thomas Woods, drove to wait for police.

Tempe police pulled bags of evidence from a Cadillac STS parked at the strip mall. Several of the nearby businesses told CBS 5 News they saw a woman driving when the Cadillac pulled up and a man get out who appeared to have been shot.

"When our officers got on scene, both the victim and the suspect were together with the parents," Pooley added.

That's where Thomas Woods was taken into custody.

Later Saturday morning, detectives revisited Kiwanis Park to take a second look.

"We have not found the weapon at this time," Pooley said. "We are looking for more evidence that may be out here."

But what caused family fun to turn to domestic violence remains a mystery.

"We don't know why," Pooley added. "What ensued the fight, we don't know what's going on."

However, he says they've already learned of one important factor.

"We do know that the victim was highly intoxicated," Pooley said.

Investigators are having a hard time figuring out what happened. They said some of the family members at Kiwanis Park on Friday night were cooperating and some were not.

Police are turning to the public and asking for information about what bystanders may have seen or heard.

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