2 teenagers to be charged as adults in fatal shooting of 5-year-old in Tempe

Mar 28, 2023, 10:33 AM

From left: Demarcus Frazier, Freddy Patterson and Charles Adams. (Tempe Police Department Photos)...

From left: Demarcus Frazier, Freddy Patterson and Charles Adams. (Tempe Police Department Photos)

(Tempe Police Department Photos)

PHOENIX – Three suspects, two of them underage teens, were arrested and charged in the fatal shooting of a 5-year-old in Tempe, authorities said Monday.

Demarcus Frazier, 30, Charles Adams, 17, and Freddy Patterson, 16, were taken into custody March 21, the Tempe Police Department said, four days after a vehicle with an 18-year-old and six children inside was fired on.

Two dozen rounds of ammunition hit the car, police said.

Adams and Patterson will be tried as adults. They and Frazier were charged with first-degree murder and six counts of aggravated assault in the March 17 shooting near Broadway Road and 52nd Street, Sgt. Hector Encinas said at a press conference.

An 8-year-old and a 17-year-old also suffered gunshot wounds, but their injuries weren’t life-threatening.

“Through a tireless investigation, detectives were able to identify, locate and apprehend the suspects associated with this heinous crime,” Encinas said.

A 14-year-old was behind the wheel of a black Chevy Impala carrying seven people that was attacked. Police said the car we stopped at a traffic light on eastbound Broadway Road and 48th Street around 11:45 p.m. when a silver Chevy Cruze pulled up in the next lane.

After recognizing an occupant in the silver car, someone in the black car urged his friends to take off.

The cars continued eastbound when shots were fired as both cars neared Double Buttes Cemetery on Broadway near Interstate 10.

The Impala came to a halt shortly thereafter and the occupants fled on foot, fearful of further gunfire.

“We don’t have a specific motive … I think we’ll get there,” Encinas said.

He added at this point, police were not looking for anyone else, but investigators were still collecting information and could use more help from the public.

“The community has been impactful this entire time. The community came together to give us information, Encinas said, adding police heard from business owners in the area who checked their surveillance footage.

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2 teenagers to be charged as adults in fatal shooting of 5-year-old in Tempe