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2 teens charged as adults with murder in Roosevelt Row shootings

(Pixabay Photo)

PHOENIX – Two teenagers were arrested this week and charged as adults with first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of two coffee shop employees in downtown Phoenix last year, authorities announced Wednesday.

One of the suspects is 16 years old and the other is 15. Both are male and were a year younger when the Oct. 5 incident occurred, Phoenix Police Sgt. Tommy Thompson told KTAR News 92.3 FM.

“Working on this case for 10 months, with assistance from our crime lab, detectives were able to develop probable cause,” Thompson said.

KTAR.com does not report the names of minor suspects.

Thompson said the suspects were booked into Maricopa County Jail. In addition to two first-degree murder charges, each teen faces two counts of attempted armed robbery and two counts of aggravated robbery.

Zachary Walter, 24, and David Bessent, 41, were walking from work at Jobot Coffee & Bar near Roosevelt and Third streets at around 3:30 a.m. when they were shot during a robbery. Walter died after being taken to a hospital, and Bessent died several days later.

Thompson said suspects fled the scene in a white Dodge Durango.

“The detectives are still investigating, and they believe there are at least two more suspects involved,” he said.

Anybody with information was asked to call the Phoenix Police Department Violent Crimes Bureau at 602-262-6141.

Anonymous tips can be made through Silent Witness by calling 480-WITNESS (480-948-6377) or 480-TESTIGO (480-837-8446) for Spanish.

“We’re confident that through the help of the community, we’ll be able to identify those other individuals,” Thompson said.

“It may be as simple as somebody who used to be associated with these young men is a little bit more nervous, a little more anxious than he or she was prior to this event.”

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Taylor Kinnerup contributed to this report.

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