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Arrests made after deadly armed robbery, string of crimes in East Valley

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Posted at 12:06 PM, Oct 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-28 13:07:12-04

MESA, AZ — Police say arrests have been made after a string of crimes including an armed robbery that left a 38-year-old man dead in a Mesa neighborhood.

Police documents show around noon Monday, Jaquan Jaheem Bailey, Stephon Mitchell, Vincent Culbreath and Ashley Herrell were in a vehicle in Mesa when they stopped to talk to a man, appearing to ask him for directions.

Police say Culbreath, the driver, got back in the car as the man walked away, and drove toward the man again, attempting to rob him. The three men all got out of the vehicle and chased the victim while firing shots.

Police documents say various surveillance cameras captured the incident on video, and the victim tried to hide and surrender his backpack as the suspects shot at him. The victim was then beaten up and shot multiple times at close range, killing him.

Police say the suspects ran back to the vehicle and took off.

Shortly beforehand, video showed the three men and the vehicle at a Circle K store near Alma School and Broadway roads. Culbreath stole two bottles of alcohol and when a clerk attempted to stop him, he displayed a gun.

Documents show the suspects went to another area in Mesa where they stole four tires outside of a home, stopped at a marijuana dispensary and then went to Guadalupe where they attempted a third armed robbery. In Guadalupe, officials say a woman intervened and they shot her, leaving her with critical injuries.

The group stopped in Phoenix and had an argument over weapons. It was then that police located and detained them.

Police say Bailey and Mitchell claimed to be asleep when all of the crimes occurred and did not recall them. Herrell also denied being awake and aware of what happened, though Bailey and Mitchell both said she was awake during the day.

Police say multiple other charges are pending in regard to the series of crimes, but Bailey was booked into jail on a first-degree murder charge, as well as armed robbery.

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Officials have not yet named the victim who was shot and killed in Mesa.