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Phoenix man threatened woman at home before flagging down vehicles, killing teen in car, police say

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Posted at 10:28 AM, Jun 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-07 13:43:40-04

PHOENIX — Police say a man suspected of killing a teenage girl in a vehicle in Phoenix last week also held a woman at gunpoint at her home.

According to official documents, Francisco J. Ortega Sanchez, 23, jumped into a backyard near 47th and Clarendon avenues around 1 a.m. on June 4.

A 53-year-old woman was outside of the home and Sanchez reportedly grabbed her by the head and threatened her with a handgun. Police say he forced the woman through her home at gunpoint before seeing the victim’s son and friends out front, causing Sanchez to flee the area.

Minutes later, police say Sanchez had gone to the area of 43rd Avenue and Indian School Road where he began flagging down vehicles. He was in the middle of the road when a 51-year-old woman, who was driving with her two children, stopped her car.

Documents say Sanchez put his hands on the woman’s hood and he appeared to be bloody and in need of assistance.

The passenger window was rolled down and the 17-year-old girl in the passenger seat yelled for her mom to drive away when the man pointed his gun into their car.

While she was driving away, she heard a gunshot and felt a burning sensation on her chest, thinking she had been shot. She looked over and saw that her 17-year-old daughter was unresponsive.

Police say the teen, later identified as Eunice Rodriguez, had been shot in the head and was pronounced dead. Her mother had suffered a gunshot graze wound to her chest and arm.

Police say the 12-year-old boy in the backseat was not hurt.

When officers responded to the scene, Sanchez was reportedly still in the area and dropped his weapon.

“The only comment [Sanchez] made was he had used cocaine,” police documents say.

Sanchez was taken in for questioning and reportedly told officials that he had also been drinking at a bar and believed people were following him.

Sanchez admitted to pointing his gun at the woman at her home and said he was “trying to get help” when he was flagging down cars.

Police say Sanchez had dropped extra ammunition in the area as well.

He was arrested and booked into jail on charges of first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, kidnapping, burglary, aggravated assault and discharging a firearm within city limits.

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