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Tow truck driver shot and killed in Phoenix, man arrested

Tow truck driver shot and killed overnight
Posted at 1:34 PM, Oct 07, 2017

Friends are speaking out about a tow truck driver who was shot and killed Friday night at an apartment complex near 32nd Street and McDowell.

According to police, the tow truck driver, 26-year-old Alfredo Palencia, was removing a vehicle from the complex when he was confronted by 27-year-old Billy Wayne West Jr. around 10:30 p.m.

During the confrontation, West reportedly shot Palencia and fled the area. Palencia died of his injuries. 

The close-knit group of employees at Go Towing and Recovery, where Palencia worked, said they knew something wasn't right that night.

"We had him on GPS, and we knew he wasn't moving," coworker Tracy Miller said of the first sign something was wrong. "So Dennis, our friend, had gone over there."

Police confirmed Palencia had been killed.

"Alfredo loved his job; that's why he brought smiles and laughter," Miller said.

According to court records, West told police he was drinking at an east Phoenix bar and had no memory of Friday night.

Police say West did admit his kids had been attending a family party at the apartment complex where the shooting occurred. Officers say both security video and witnesses place West at the scene.

West was arrested for first-degree murder, and is being held in jail on $750,000 bond.