ARIZONA NEWS

Police investigating 8 teen violence cases that could be linked to ‘Gilbert Goons’

Jan 8, 2024, 5:28 PM | Updated: Mar 12, 2024, 9:45 am

The Gilbert Police Department says it is investigating eight cases of teen violence that could be l...

The Gilbert Police Department says it is investigating eight cases of teen violence that could be linked to the "Gilbert Goons." (Gilbert Police Department Photo)

(Gilbert Police Department Photo)

PHOENIX — The Gilbert Police Department said Monday it is investigating eight teen violence cases that could involve the “Gilbert Goons,” including four that were reopened.

The department said the four other cases came from incidents that were previously unreported and came about through online tips. The “Gilbert Goons,” a purported group of affluent East Valley teenagers, have been in the spotlight since the death of 16-year-old Preston Lord at a Halloween party in Queen Creek in late October.

It is unknown if Lord’s death was due to violence from the gang. The Queen Creek Police Department submitted charges against seven suspects to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office on Dec. 28 but did not release names.

“Gilbert PD takes any incidents involving violence seriously and, as part of a thorough review of past assault cases and arrests involving youth, we are looking to see if there is any additional information or correlation between these incidents that can assist us with our past and current investigations,” the department said in a statement.

Police added that investigations will determine whether it can classify the group as a criminal street gang under Arizona law.

Gilbert’s Street Crimes Unit is working with several East Valley law enforcement groups to figure out more information on the cases.

What’s the latest on the Preston Lord case?

Maricopa County’s review into charges stemming from the murder of Lord is expected to take a while due to the sheer amount of materials that need to be sifted through, Attorney Rachel Mitchell said Friday.

Mitchell told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show the police report for Lord’s case is about 1,800 pages. Prosecutors also have to comb through about 2,000 pieces of evidence, including 600 videos, according to Mitchell.

Lord, a student at Combs High School, was assaulted near Sossaman and Chandler Heights roads after a Halloween party on Oct. 28 and died of his injuries two days later.

A reward of up to $10,000 was offered for information that leads to an arrest in Lord’s death.

Queen Creek set up a portal at www.fbi.gov/prestonlord where video, photos and other media can be submitted as potential evidence.

Information can also be called into the FBI’s tip line at 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5324).

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Police investigating 8 teen violence cases that could be linked to ‘Gilbert Goons’