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PD: Suspect arrested after allegedly killing man at Mesa motel

Stevie Jones.png
Posted at 3:17 PM, Jun 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-29 18:48:20-04

MESA, AZ — Police say a suspect has been arrested after a man was shot and killed at a Mesa motel over the weekend.

Mesa police say just before 7 a.m. Sunday, officers responded to a shooting call near Main Street and Stapley Drive.

Officers arrived and found a man in the parking lot of the motel with fatal gunshot wounds. Authorities later identified the victim as 28-year-old Michael Gonzalez.

Police say 27-year-old Stevie Jones was arrested along with his girlfriend on Monday.

Court documents said surveillance footage showed a man, later identified as Jones, walking from Main Street and into one of the motel rooms 30 minutes before the shooting.

Surveillance video showed Gonzalez arriving before the shooting and speaking with people. Residents in the complex told authorities the victim had knocked on a few doors the day before and the morning of the shooting looking for an unidentified woman.

Gonzalez is seen walking through a walkway towards the north side behind several rooms out of camera view.

Several minutes later, Gonzalez is seen on surveillance video being chased by a person wearing a dark-colored shirt and has long hair.

Police said the person allegedly began to point an object at Gonzalez who then falls on the ground around the fired casings.

Court documents said officers at the scene spoke to Jones' girlfriend. She told authorities Jones arrived at the room in the morning, went to a store nearby and came back. The girlfriend said she heard glass breaking and she woke up to Jones not being in the room. Police said a search warrant led to the discovery of a fired cartridge casing and a live round inside the room. Officers also spotted a defect in the room's window.

According to police, the brand and caliber were the same as the casing found outside near the walkway and where Gonzalez was located.

A forensic exam conducted on the casings found at the scene all appeared to be fired from the same handgun, leading police to detain Jones and his girlfriend.

She told authorities Jones had returned from the store unhappy with an interaction he had with two people on his way back. Police said he allegedly described one of the people to her as Gonzalez.

Jones' girlfriend said he told her that "if he does something, for her to not say anything about it" regarding the people he had a confrontation with outside.

The girlfriend told police they then heard scratching at the window.

Jones reportedly thought someone was trying to open the window and enter the motel room, leading him to jump up while holding his handgun.

Police said Jones opened a curtain covering the window and Jones' girlfriend reportedly saw a man, described as a possible Hispanic man, with his hands by the window.

Jones' girlfriend told police the window was locked and closed.

According to police, Jones made a statement and reportedly fired the handgun through the glass.

Gonzalez then disappeared out of view leading Jones to unlock and open the door and went after Gonzalez.

Jones later returned to the motel room and according to the girlfriend, he said "I hit him" and "I had to make sure he didn't come back."

Court documents said Jones then went underneath the bed and put something in the box springs.

Police said Jones' girlfriend later admitted Jones had a semi-auto handgun and ammunition that he kept inside in the box springs of the motel room.

According to police, a second search warrant led detectives to find the handgun matching the fired casings, along with additional ammunition, inside the box springs.

Jones was arrested and is facing several charges that include first-degree murder and weapons and explosives.