Authorities released new details Wednesday about an Arizona home invasion that left a little girl and her father dead, with investigators saying a 12-gauge shotgun was found in a concealed compartment of a suspect's printer and he harbored members of an anti-illegal immigration group. Among those arrested is Shawna Forde of Everett.
TUCSON, Ariz. — Authorities released new details Wednesday about an Arizona home invasion that left a little girl and her father dead, with investigators saying a 12-gauge shotgun was found in a concealed compartment of a suspect’s printer and he harbored members of an anti-illegal immigration group.
Albert Gaxiola, 42, told Pima County sheriff’s investigators that he let members of the Minutemen American Defense group stay at his house and he had a relationship with 41-year-old Shawna Forde, the leader of the border watch group accused of planning the attack to help fund her anti-immigrant operations.
Reports released Wednesday show investigators searched Gaxiola’s house in Arivaca two days after the May 30 home invasion and found military-style gear and clothing. The report also said that a printer in Gaxiola’s home had a concealed compartment in which a 12-gauge shotgun was found, with a spent shell in the chamber and seven more shells in the magazine.
“I observed numerous firearms, camouflage clothing and other military-type gear being found,” the detective said.
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The robbery in the small community of Arivaca left 29-year-old Raul Junior Flores and his 9-year-old daughter, Brisenia, dead. Gina Gonzalez, the girl’s mother and Flores’ wife, was wounded.
Authorities arrested Gaxiola of Arivaca; Forde, of Everett, Wash., and Jason Eugene Bush, 34, of Meadview, Ariz., near the New Mexico border, in connection with the shooting.
Bush was arrested at a Kingman, Ariz., hospital undergoing treatment for a leg wound. The three were indicted by a county grand jury on charges including first-degree murder, aggravated assault and aggravated robbery.
After the shootings, Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik described Flores as a suspected drug dealer.
Detectives began focusing on Gaxiola a day after the shootings and after a hospital interview with Gonzalez.
Gonzalez, 31, was shot three times and she shot and wounded Bush during the home invasion, authorities said.
She gave detectives information that helped tie Gaxiola to the shootings, according to the report.
She told Detective R.M. Svec that a man “who stuck his head into the residence did match the approximate height and weight of Albert. When she heard the man yell, she said, he sounded like Gaxiola.
She knew Gaxiola from living in Arivaca, she said, and he and her husband had a dispute last year because Gaxiola had allegedly stored marijuana on their property.
According to another incident report from Svec, Gaxiola told detectives a few hours after Gonzalez’s interview that he had heard about the fatal shootings and the wounding of Gonzalez “but he had absolutely no knowledge of any participation in the incident.” Gaxiola said he was in Tucson on May 30, according to the report.
Gaxiola told detectives that clothing and military-type webbing gear in a container in his home belonged to “a group of people whom he identified as Minutemen.” The people had been staying in his home, he said.
Gaxiola denied owning any weapons, according to the report, and he told investigators that any weapons found in his home belonged to Forde’s group.
A van Gonzalez described as suspicious and one she had seen drive past her home a few days before the attack also was parked in front of Gaxiola’s home during the interview, Svec’s report said. Gaxiola told authorities it belonged to the Minutemen group and Forde had driven it.
Gonzalez told detectives that the intruders wore camouflage clothing and told her and her family that they were law enforcement personnel looking for fugitives.