NewsSoutheast Valley NewsMesa News


PD: Retired Mesa police sergeant shot and killed in domestic incident

Posted at 11:24 PM, Apr 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-01 10:32:27-04

MESA, AZ — A retired Mesa police sergeant has died after he was shot and killed during a domestic incident.

Steve Bassett died more than a week after police say he was shot by his wife, Teri Bassett, inside their Mesa home, near Higley and Brown.

On social media, Steve and Teri appeared to be a happy couple.

But on April 19 their home was surrounded by cops who had their guns drawn and pointed at 63-year-old Teri.

"When they asked her to put her hands up, she couldn’t simply do it normal[ly], she was very much going all over the place. She even fell down at one point," said Robert Donofrio, who lives across the street.

Mesa officers were there because Teri called 911 and told dispatchers she shot her husband. She also implied she acted in self-defense. Courts documents say Teri told officers "they had been drinking and got into an argument...[then Steve] came at her and she shot him."

Once she was in handcuffs, investigators wrote that Teri told them "we should check their history and we would know what we needed to know."

Detectives also noted a bullet hole through the master bedroom door and blood in the hallway.

Steve was carried out of his home by men who were wearing the same badge he proudly did for 20 years, from 1978 to 1998, according to a Mesa police spokesperson.

"We knew he was a police officer. He was a pretty nice guy," said Tim Mishler, who also lived across the street.

But neighbors also knew the couple had a volatile relationship filled with turmoil.

"I had heard they had a rocky relationship, to put it lightly, for a very long time. It wasn’t the first time the police had come out."

"[Officer came] a couple times a year normally," said Mishler
"Just domestic issues? Did anyone ever get arrested," asked ABC15.
"Yeah, here and there. They would pick one of them up and take them away for a day or so."

Officers also noted in the report a "prior history of domestic violence."

"She was always yelling from her backyard, and acting crazy," said Sarah Cohen, who lived next door.

Teri was only in jail for three days before being released. It is unclear why she was released, but Mesa officials say the investigation is ongoing.

Domestic violence has spiked during this coronavirus quarantine, as couples are forced into close quarters with very little physical escape.

"I don’t know if that exaggerated it or not - kind of a normal operation for them," said Mishler.

"A marital spot that ended the worst you could imagine," said Donofrino.

It is unclear what led up to the trigger being pulled. Mesa homicide detectives will try to get to the bottom of that question as the retired Mesa sergeant, is laid to rest.

"It’s just sad, Steve was a good neighbor," said Mishler.

If you are in an abusive relationship and need help you can learn more here or call the 'National Domestic Violence Hotline' at 1-800-799-7233 or 'Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence' 602-279-2900.