ARIZONA NEWS

Man suspected of fatally shooting Phoenix security guard arrested near Tucson

May 24, 2023, 10:01 AM | Updated: 11:17 am

Mugshot for Justine Demunga, the suspect in the May 20, 2023, murder of security guard Nixon Petit ...

(Justine Demunga - Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo)

(Justine Demunga - Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo)

PHOENIX – A man suspected of fatally shooting of a security guard in west Phoenix over the weekend was arrested in southern Arizona on Tuesday, authorities said.

Justine Demunga, 26, was taken into custody in Oro Valley, north of Tucson, in connection with the death of Nixon Petit, the Phoenix Police Department said.

Petit, 50, was working as a security guard at a hookah lounge that was functioning as an afterhours nightclub when he was shot around 3:45 a.m. Saturday, according to court records.

Petit was patting down customers before they entered the Montana Hookah Lounge and Smoke Shop on 27th Avenue just south of Northern Avenue when a man tried to bypass security, according to the probable cause statement for Demunga’s arrest.

The man got into an argument with employees that escalated into a physical altercation, according to the probable cause statement. Shots were fired during the fight, hitting Petit, and the man fled in a black car.

Petit died after being taken to a hospital.

Police received a tip Sunday that the shooter was person who had a Facebook profile under an alias. Investigators used information and photos from the profile to identify Demunga as the suspect, and a witness picked Demunga out of a photo lineup, according to the probable cause statement.

Police obtained a warrant to track what they believed to be the suspect’s cellphone. Records showed the device was detected in the area of the hookah lounge at the time of the crime and in the Tucson area Monday and Tuesday.

Phoenix Police investigators conducted surveillance in the Tucson area and located Demunga working at a construction site, where they took him into custody around 2 p.m. Tuesday.

Demunga was transported back to the Valley and booked into Maricopa County jail on counts of second-degree murder and prohibited weapons possession. His bond was set at $1 million.

Demunga has felony convictions in Texas that make him ineligible to possess a firearm, according to the probable cause statement for his arrest.

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Man suspected of fatally shooting Phoenix security guard arrested near Tucson