Suspect arrested in killing of a paraplegic man during Phoenix robbery

Sep 22, 2021, 4:00 PM
Simeon Busano booked Sept. 21, 2021, on counts of first-degree murder and armed robbery. (Maricopa ...
Simeon Busano booked Sept. 21, 2021, on counts of first-degree murder and armed robbery. (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo)
(Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo)

PHOENIX – A suspect in the killing of a paraplegic man during a robbery in Phoenix over a month ago has been arrested, authorities said Wednesday.

Samuel Casas, 30, told officers he was shot while two men robbed him near Bell Road and Seventh Street on Aug. 7, the Phoenix Police Department said. Casas died after being taken to a hospital.

Investigators used evidence from the crime scene and other incidents to identify 24-year-old Simeon Busano as a suspect.

Witnesses said the suspects, who wore masks and gloves and had a handgun and an assault rifle, fled in a silver Kia Soul, according to court documents.

Busano was driving a car matching the description when he was arrested Aug. 19 by Border Patrol agents after a pursuit in Why, south of Ajo, the probable cause statement said.

He was allegedly carrying a backpack that had a cellphone and gloves inside plus ammunition matching evidence from the Aug. 7 homicide.

Investigators said they were able to place Busano at the scene the crime by using phone records.

Detectives also connected the crime scene evidence to an aggravated assault that occurred March 31 near 32nd Street and Bell Road.

Additional evidence, including an assault rifle, was collected when a search warrant was served at Busano’s residence.

Busano initially ran from police before he was arrested around 11:15 a.m. Tuesday near 19th Avenue and Thunderbird Road, according to the probable cause statement.

He changed the story he told detectives several times when confronted with the evidence against him, police said.

Busano booked on counts of first-degree murder and armed robbery, with bail set at $1 million.

His status conference was scheduled for Sept. 28, with a preliminary hearing for Sept. 30.

No information about other potential suspects has been released.

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Suspect arrested in killing of a paraplegic man during Phoenix robbery