Phoenix stabbing: Double-stabbing at Phoenix apartment during post-funeral gathering

PHOENIX - A double murder investigation is even tougher than usual for police because of a language barrier.

Two people are dead after an altercation occurred around midnight during a post-funeral gathering at an apartment complex near 28th Street and Camelback Road, said Phoenix police Sgt. Steve Martos.

Police said they arrived at the residence around midnight, located two bodies and approximately 60 additional people inside the apartment.

Police said there is a significant language barrier between authorities and the people who were inside the apartment during the stabbing.

Translators were brought in and told ABC15 that many of the people speak Burmese and Karenni.

"They are nice people here from another country," said Tom Taknan who was brought in by police to help translate along with a few other men.

Some of the group only speaks an ethnic dialect from the region making translations even more difficult.

During the day police gathered up dozens of potential witnesses and suspects, loaded them on a city bus and one by one began taking their pictures and swabbing their cheeks.

Three people are believed to have entered the apartment and an altercation of some sort happened, which led to the stabbings, Martos said.

It appears that a metal object was used to stab the victims, Martos said. It was described as an item that looks like a crowbar.

One officer on the scene said police are rarely called to that location because the community does a good job of policing themselves.

The investigation is ongoing.

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