Peoria police identify victim killed in West Valley shooting spree

peoria spree.jpg
Posted at 6:35 PM, Jun 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-22 22:28:08-04

PEORIA, AZ — Peoria police on Tuesday identified the man who was shot and killed last week on the Loop 101 during a spree of drive-by shootings in the West Valley that also left a dozen others injured.

Police identified the victim -- the lone casualty -- as David Liebler, 67, of Sun City, Arizona. Liebler was found dead inside his truck, which had been driven into a canal near Loop 101 and Thunderbird Road, according to the probable cause statement.

Last week, a 19-year-old man armed with an AR-15 drove throughout the West Valley and began randomly shooting at people and other vehicles over a 90-minute span, police said. The alleged gunman was arrested and is now facing several charges, including first-degree murder, aggravated assault, drive-by shooting, and endangerment.

A motive for the shooting is not known, police said.

In total, four people were shot, including Liebler, and nine others were injured -- some from shrapnel or car crashes due to the shootings -- in at least eight separate incidents spanning Glendale, Peoria, Surprise, and along the Loop 101 and Loop 303 freeways, police said.

TIMELINE: How 90-minute shooting spree across West Valley unfolded

Police said they initially did not know that Liebler was one of the victims connected to the shooting. DPS was initially sent out for reports of a shooting but were unable to find the victim or vehicle.

After seeing news coverage of the events, a witness contacted police again and told them they saw a truck inside a canal.

In the days following the Thursday shooting, police have connected the alleged gunman to additional incidents, including reports of him pointing a gun at people days before he started shooting.

Police said the alleged gunman pointed a gun at a woman who was in her vehicle on June 10 near 87th Avenue and Lake Pleasant Parkway, a previously unknown incident. The woman was not injured and no shots were fired, police said.

The alleged gunman made his initial appearance in court last week. During that appearance, it was learned that the suspect had a juvenile criminal record.