Tempe Police: Fourth arrest made in deadly shootings near Arizona Mills Mall

Posted at 2:14 PM, Nov 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-15 16:14:38-05

TEMPE, AZ — A fourth man has been arrested after three people were shot in two separate incidents near Arizona Mills Mall.

On Thursday, Tempe police arrested 21-year-old Charles Benion for his role in two shootings that happened on October 2.

Court records show that the first shooting took place just before 8 p.m. in the parking lot of the El Pollo Loco at Arizona Mills Mall. A witness that was in the car with the victim reportedly told police that they were there to buy drugs through a contact they met on Snapchat. The person shot in that incident did not survive. Police say Benion was the driver of the car and “flashed cash” when he approached the victim’s vehicle.

Police say the four 9mm cartridge casings found at this scene, and the 18 cartridge casings found at another shooting later that night, were fired from the same gun. The same vehicle was also reportedly seen at both locations.

The second shooting happened at the Sanctuary on Broadway apartmentsnear Priest Drive and Broadway Road around 11:40 p.m. An 18-year-old man was found inside a vehicle with a gunshot wound, and a second shooting victim, a 19-year-old man, was also found outside the car. Both were taken to the hospital for treatment, but police say the 18-year-old man died from his injuries.

Court records show that they were there to conduct another drug transaction with a contact they also made through Snapchat.

Police say several witnesses placed Benion at the shooting, and surveillance video allegedly shows him exited the car. He was arrested Thursday afternoon by the Tempe Criminal Apprehension Team.

Benion is being held on a $750,000 bond for two counts of first-degree murder, armed robbery, and various drug charges.