Witness describes scene of suspect’s arrest in West Valley shootings

Jun 17, 2021, 6:55 PM | Updated: Jun 18, 2021, 8:21 am
(TikTok screenshot/@neilbetrue)...
(TikTok screenshot/@neilbetrue)
(TikTok screenshot/@neilbetrue)

PHOENIX — A witness described the scene of a suspect being taken into custody in the West Valley shootings that killed one person and injured 12 others Thursday afternoon, saying the suspect peacefully gave himself up to police.

Neil Betrue, a pastor, was in his office at the Church for the Nations near Bell Road and Grand Avenue in Surprise when he heard a helicopter and looked out the door to see a parking lot filled with police.

He told KTAR News 92.3 FM that he witnessed police tell people at other businesses in the area to go back inside before looking over to his left and seeing the suspect surrendering to police without further incident.

Betrue posted a video of the arrest on social media.

“They had the vehicle surrounded, they were already giving him orders to get out of the vehicle and to begin backing up and making sure he had no guns or anything,” Betrue said. “I did not know at the time it was an active shooting, but I could definitely see the severity of it.

“It seemed absolutely that he did give himself up, it was peaceful. The cops and law enforcement did phenomenal about keeping everything safe around here.

“He peacefully followed their orders and basically got taken into custody, seemed like everything was smooth and really orderly.”

Betrue said the suspect looked very young and he would be surprised if the man was over 20.

“To me, he did look very young,” Betrue said.

Betrue said it was a large police response and estimated there were more than ten police vehicles.

A weapon was located in the suspect’s vehicle, Peoria Police Sgt. Brandon Sheffert said during a press conference.

The incident started when police got an initial call about a shooting near 103rd and Northern avenues at about 11:10 a.m., Sheffert said.

A total of eight incidents were reported in the following two hours, Sheffert said.

A victim was found dead in a vehicle near the Loop 101 Agua Fria Freeway and Thunderbird Road, according to Sheffert.

Nine victims were transported to three Banner Health hospitals in the West Valley, the hospital network told KTAR News 92.3 FM.

Four victims suffered gunshot wounds, Sheffert said, while nine suffered other injures.

The 12 people injured – all adults – are expected to make a full recovery, Peoria police said Thursday night.

Multiple Valley agencies were investigating the incidents.

The suspect has yet to be identified by police.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Taylor Tasler and Debra Dale contributed to this report.

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