Queen Creek police investigate teen’s fatal assault as homicide, address rumors surrounding case

Nov 1, 2023, 4:24 PM | Updated: Mar 12, 2024, 9:41 am

officers give updates to Lord's death following assault...

Police are investigating the death of a Combs High School student who was assaulted Saturday night, Oct. 28, 2023, in Queen Creek. (Facebook Photo/Queen Creek Police Department, GoFundMe)

(Facebook Photo/Queen Creek Police Department, GoFundMe)

PHOENIX — The death of a teen who was assaulted at a Halloween party on Saturday night in a Queen Creek neighborhood is being investigated as a homicide, according to authorities.

Preston Lord, a Combs High School student, died from his injuries on Monday at a hospital.

During a press conference Wednesday, Queen Creek Police Department officials addressed two rumors. The first is that officers were on-site during the party. There were no officers on-site during the incident and no officers responded to the party until after the assault, authorities said.

Secondly, the department clarified a rumor that many calls were reported and police did not respond to them. The Queen Creek Police Department said they got one non-emergency call to the neighborhood and one to the assault incident. However, several calls did come in after the officers arrived to investigate the assault, officials said.

On Saturday, the non-emergency call came in at 9:07 p.m. about a juvenile disturbance in the area of Via del Orogo and 194th Street. Responding officers were diverted to a domestic violence call minutes after arriving in the area, QCPD confirmed Wednesday. At 9:49 p.m., the department received a call about Lord’s assault in the area of Via Del Rancho and 194th Street, where responding officers found him on the road.

According to witness statements, 100 to 200 people were at the party at the time it broke up. Adults were also on-site at the party, authorities said.

How to submit tips for Preston Lord’s homicide case?

Queen Creek Police Chief Randy Brice urged the public to submit tips through the department and not through social media.

“Please do not post information online and expect that it is a tip that is going to be easily accessed for us. Contact us through the means we’ve already indicated,” Brice said at a press conference

As of noon Wednesday, QCPD said they have received 76 tips and they are working through each one to vet information.

Brice cautions the public to not make social media posts that lead to misidentification and targeting of people in the community that may not be associated with the event.

Anyone with information about the incident can contact QCPD via email or by calling 480-358-3500.

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Queen Creek police investigate teen’s fatal assault as homicide, address rumors surrounding case