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Tempe police connect 2 homicides in different areas, make 2 arrests

Zareek Batchelor, left, and Quinshawn Hopkins. (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photos)

PHOENIX – Tempe police determined that a pair of homicides in two parts of the city on one day earlier this month were related, and two suspects have been charged in both of the killings, authorities said Friday.

Quinshawn Hopkins, 20, and Zareek Batchelor, 19, were arrested Thursday and charged with two counts each of first-degree murder, along with other related charges, according to a Tempe Police Department press release.

The first homicide occurred near the Arizona Mills mall Oct. 2 just before 8 p.m.

Officers found a 24-year-old male victim with a gunshot wound to the chest in the parking lot east of the mall. He was taken to a local hospital, where he died from his injuries.

Police found evidence, including bullet holes in a vehicle and cartridge casings, indicating that the shooting occurred in the parking lot of the nearby El Pollo Loco restaurant. Police believe the victim attempted to flee toward the mall before succumbing to his injuries.

Then at around 11:30 p.m., police found two more gunshot victims after responding to a parking lot near Broadway Road and Priest Drive.

An 18-year-old man found inside a vehicle died after being taking to a hospital. A 19-year-old man who was outside the vehicle was hospitalized in critical condition but is expected to survive.

Police initially didn’t see a connection between the two incidents, but evidence at the scenes showed they were related, the release said.

Both shootings are believed to be drug related, and investigators are looking for additional suspects.

Anybody with information was asked to call the Tempe Police Department at 480-350-8311.

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