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Police: 4 men in deadly Phoenix crime spree were out to shoot homeless people, rob and steal

Posted at 9:55 AM, Apr 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-01 21:45:06-04

PHOENIX — Four men involved in a deadly crime spree early Wednesday morning were driving around "looking for homeless people to shoot" and "people to rob and vehicles to steal," according to police documents.

According to police documents, a victim was sitting in his vehicle in his driveway near 7th and Grovers avenues when two men wearing masks approached him. One of the suspects reportedly fired a “black rifle” at the driver’s window, shattering it, and demanded he exit the car.

The suspects then got into a white Jeep Cherokee that was waiting for them and drove away. The victim followed them as he contacted police.

Near 17th and Grovers avenues, police caught up to the Jeep and the suspects fled from the car, but were quickly taken into custody.

Officers searched the area and found a black Daisy airsoft pellet gun.

Around the same time, a call came in that a woman had been shot while standing in a McDonald’s drive-through area near 18th Avenue and Bell Road. She was reportedly shot by someone in a similar vehicle.

The woman, 38-year-old Leanne Holum, died from her injuries at a hospital. Medical staff at the hospital confirmed a pellet-like object caused her injuries.

Meanwhile, a 17-year-old boy made contact with officers, saying he had been shot at a few minutes earlier by someone in a white SUV.

That victim said the vehicle drove by him, and multiple people stuck a rifle out the window and shot him near 9th and Grovers avenues. He was hospitalized with a lacerated kidney injury and is in critical condition.

The suspects -- identified as Charles Harris, 19; Troy Brunetti, 18; Larry Scott, 19; and Austin Olson, 21 -- were taken to police headquarters where they were interviewed.

They reportedly admitted to their involvement in the incidents, saying they were “looking for homeless people to shoot.” They also said they were “looking for people to rob and vehicles to steal.”

According to police paperwork, they admitted that several people had been shot and they had shot at residential structures and vehicles.

The suspects reportedly played different roles during the crime spree.

Brunetti reportedly admitted to bringing the pellet gun and holding a man at gunpoint in his car.

Harris admitted to shooting the woman at the McDonald’s after she approached the car when they started to harass her, police say.

Harris also reportedly took the gun from Brunetti, who was holding the man in his car at gunpoint, and tried to aim for his head when the victim tried to drive away.

Police say Olson admitted to being the driver during most of the crime spree.

Scott told police he only fired the gun one time and did not shoot at a person, but a residential structure.

The suspects gave varying stories on who shot at the boy.

Those who knew Leanne Holum told ABC15 while she fell on tough times, she was a proud mom to two young girls and a great friend.

"She had such big heart, so I feel like this is just so unfortunate," said Bethany Fridge.

Fridge told ABC15 she and Holum worked together several years ago.

"[She had a] beautiful smile, infectious laughter, she...was very relatable with anyone," Fridge said.

Fridge is in shock that her friend was killed allegedly by someone shooting a pellet gun.

"I'm in disbelief that someone would do something so careless," she said. "In a time where, we as a human race should be coming together."

ABC15 dug into the suspects' history. Records show Harris was released from the Arizona Department of Corrections within the past two weeks. Court documents also appear to indicate Brunetti, 18, recently spent time in juvenile corrections.

A person who says they live with Brunetti told ABC15 what he's accused of doesn't add up.

"A woman was killed, this is not ok," said Charli Luna. "Yet, I don't really believe that Troy had meant to do any of this or even get involved in any of this."

Luna told ABC15 Brunetti was off his medication.

"I think there's more to the story than we know," Luna said.

Meanwhile, Holum's family and friends are heartbroken by her death, especially given the apparent random nature of the killing.

"I'm sorry to the family, to the loved ones, her children who have to go through life knowing that their mom was taken too soon by, I'm sorry to call them, idiots," Fridge said. "Idiots."

Leanne Holum's family sent ABC15 the following statement:

Leanne Holum was a mother, a daughter, a cousin, a niece and a friend. She was stubborn, loud, funny and fearless. She loved her two beautiful daughters and wanted nothing more than to be a good Mom. She made bad choices but was not a bad person. The reckless actions of the 4 young men on April 29 that thought harassing those less fortunate has changed the lives of our family forever. We are devastated by the loss of Leanne.

All of the suspects were booked into jail on multiple charges including first-degree murder, drive-by shooting, aggravated assault and attempted robbery.