COOLIDGE, Ariz. — A man sought in the fatal shooting of his estranged
girlfriend and the wounding of a neighbor in Tempe fatally shot himself Friday
when cornered by sheriff’s deputies near Coolidge after a chase, Pinal County
Sheriff Paul Babeu said.
John Brazel, 33, shot himself in the head early Friday morning as deputies
confronted him at a utility site near the county fairgrounds.
According to Babeu, the chase began early Friday morning when Marana police
spotted a pickup stolen by Brazel at a truck stop in the Tucson area.
Officers from the Eloy Police Department and the state Department of Public
Safety joined the pursuit but lost Brazel when he drove at speeds over 110 mph
on dark rural roads, Babeu said.
A short time later, private security guards at the utility site called 911
after they spotted the stolen truck when Brazel tried hiding it behind a trailer
at the site, Babeu said.
Brazel shot himself after ignoring deputies’ commands to surrender, the sheriff
“He never shot at our deputies, and our deputies never shot at him,” he said.
“I am glad that there was no exchange of gunfire.”
Brazel was wanted in a double shooting that occurred Tuesday in an apartment
complex parking lot in Tempe. A neighbor saw Brazel arguing with Charla Faust
and tried to intervene.
Police said Brazel shot Faust and the neighbor and then fled in his vehicle,
which was found Wednesday evening in Mesa.
Faust’s sister, Danni Faust, said Brazel “wanted her dead because she was
trying to leave him, she left him, she kicked him out in March.”
Babeu said the security guards at the utility site did the right thing by not
engaging Brazel. Police had said that they considered him armed and dangerous.
“We were able to make sure nobody else was injured,” Babeu said.