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Suspect in custody after 2 killed, 4 others hurt in Phoenix shooting Tuesday morning

Jeffery R
Posted at 4:31 AM, Mar 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-26 01:18:02-04

PHOENIX — A suspect has been arrested in connection with a Tuesday morning shooting that left two people dead and four others injured in north Phoenix.

According to court paperwork, officers responded to the home near 27th and Dunlap avenues around 3:30 a.m. Tuesday in response to the shooting.

A man was found unresponsive in the front yard with a blood trail leading inside the home.

A woman was found unresponsive inside the living room with a gunshot wound to the chest. She reportedly had a baby, under six months old, lying between her legs on the floor. Officials say the child was unharmed and officers removed it from the home.

The two unresponsive victims were pronounced dead at the scene. Four others were found injured.

Witnesses say the incident started around 7 p.m. Monday when the suspect, 29-year-old Jeffery Rhone, got upset that his wallet was allegedly stolen. After a verbal argument, Rhone left the home but returned around 9:30 p.m. and engaged in a physical fight before he was kicked out of the house.

Around 3:30 a.m. Tuesday, Rhone reportedly knocked on the door, and when someone inside opened it, he started firing shots. He reportedly took the gun, a semiautomatic .40-caliber handgun, from a roommate’s nightstand without permission.

A woman who was at the house party and didn't want to be identified told ABC15, "it was terrible."

"I was in the hallway. I was just running for safety like trying to get to the back, and that guy was still coming through the house shooting everybody," she said.

One of the victims reportedly saw Rhone firing shots, and he ran out the back door to escape. The victim said he ran through an alley to get away from Rhone following him. He continued on the frontage road until he reached a hotel nearby for help.

Investigators later tracked a vehicle that was registered to Rhone and saw him driving near 35th and Northern avenues. The vehicle stopped in a parking lot where officers took Rhone into custody.

"He didn't even look like the type of person that would do something like that," said Joanne Robles, who saw the suspect being taken into custody.

Police identified the two people shot and killed as 17-year-old Shelby Verderosa and 30-year-old Jorge Rodriguez.

"It's incredibly heartbreaking that a 17-year-old girl had to lose her life over something so little and small... and there was a baby involved. A six month old baby that could've lost her life as well," said Andie Sanko, Shelby's cousin.

A GoFundMe account has been set up for Verderosa. If you'd like to help, you can donate here.

The four injured patients were transported to local trauma facilities. Police say they're in serious condition but expected to survive.

One of the people hospitalized is believed to be the son of the man who was shot and killed.

Rhone is being held on two counts of first-degree murder, four counts of aggravated assault, one count of burglary and one count of disorderly conduct.

This incident marks the 62nd "mass shooting" across the United States so far in 2019. The definition of a mass shooting, as described by the not-for-profit organization Gun Violence Archive, states that four or more individuals are shot or killed in the same general time and location.

This is a developing story. Stay with ABC15 for updates.