ARIZONA NEWS

Queen Creek leaders comment on Preston Lord investigation, teen violence in the East Valley

Jan 25, 2024, 4:35 AM | Updated: Mar 12, 2024, 10:14 am

Death of Preston Lord: Queen Creek leaders share updates...

Randy Brice, left, is Queen Creek's first chief of police. Julia Wheatley, right, is the mayor of Queen Creek. (Town of Queen Creek Photos/via Facebook)

(Town of Queen Creek Photos/via Facebook)

PHOENIX — Queen Creek Mayor Julia Wheatley and QCPD Chief of Police Randy Brice joined KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Gaydos and Chad Show on Wednesday to speak about the way the death of Preston Lord has impacted the community.

“Every story I’ve heard about him, just an incredible, remarkable human being,” Wheatley said. “It’s important that we honor him.”

Queen Creek PD submitted charges against seven suspects in the Lord case to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office (MCAO) on Dec. 29. The list of names included adults and minors, though no suspects have been named.

“We have hundreds of people that we’ve had to talk to. Over 300 tips that we’ve had to manage,” Brice said. “There are people working hard to get us the information that we need. On the other side of that is there’s so much misinformation that’s out there that has really complicated the situation.”

What was hard about investigating the death of Preston Lord?

“It really has been a jigsaw puzzle since day one,” Brice said. “These investigators have taken one piece of evidence that leads to another, which leads to another.”

He acknowledged public frustration over the speed at which the murder investigation has progressed.

“I know it frustrates everybody,” he said. “‘Why is it taking so long?'”

With so much evidence to sift through, piecing together a cohesive picture of what happened requires complex work, he said.

Is it safe for teens to go out in the East Valley?

Wheatley acknowledged the safety concerns swirling in the minds of many parents and teens in the East Valley.

“We continue to have additional officers in areas where our teens like to be and like to hang out, whether it’s restaurants or shopping areas,” Wheatley said. “I know when I drive around weekend nights, it’s very reassuring to see our officers are out there and making sure our kids are safe.”

Brice said communication between town officials and the public is essential. He’s been in close contact with Lord’s family.

“We continue to reach out to them regularly to make sure they’re updated on the case,” he said. “They’re extraordinary people. They have been nothing but supportive.”

Where is the Preston Lord murder investigation now?

Brice said it can be tricky for police chiefs to provide the public with detailed updates since they want to avoid hindering the MCAO’s legal efforts.

“Arrests are great, but we need to get to that point where we get a prosecution,” he said.

Although his department submitted charges to MCAO, their investigation is far from over, he added.

“We’re still waiting for a few things: medical examiner’s report and other things,” Brice said. “We are moving quickly on all ends to make sure we get what needs to be done, but do it right the first time.”

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Arizona needs more funds to fight extreme heat and wildfire smoke...

Serena O'Sullivan

Arizona AG advocates for FEMA to address extreme heat and wildfire smoke

Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes led a group of attorneys urging FEMA to recognize extreme heat and wildfire smoke as major disasters.

21 minutes ago

Kari Lake and election integrity were hot topics for out-of-state Republican National Convention at...

Danny Shapiro

Kari Lake, election integrity top of mind for out-of-state RNC attendees on Arizona politics

Arizona's Kari Lake has dominated the meeting circles of out-of-state attendees at this week's Republican National Convention in Milwaukee.

4 hours ago

Grand Canyon National Park to undergo water conservation...

Bailey Leasure

Grand Canyon National Park to undergo water conservation following waterline failure

Grand Canyon National Park will implement mandatory water conservation following a failure at the Trans Canyon Waterline.

5 hours ago

four-peaks-oktoberfest...

KTAR.com

Tempe’s Four Peaks Brewing Co. announces 2024 Oktoberfest dates

Four Peaks' three-day Bavarian-themed festival will take place Oct. 11-13, marking the 51st year the celebration has been held at Tempe Beach Park.

5 hours ago

Venezia's Pizzeria...

Bailey Leasure

Venezia’s Pizzeria ‘Presto’ concept set to open at Arizona State’s Sun Devil Marketplace

Venezia's Pizzeria is set to open its new 'Presto' concept location at Arizona State's Sun Devil Marketplace in Tempe.

5 hours ago

...

Sponsored Content by Sanderson Ford

3 storylines to get you revved up for the 2024 Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals training camp is just a couple weeks away starting on July 25, and Sanderson Ford is revved up and ready to go.

Sponsored Articles

...

Sanderson Ford

3 storylines to get you revved up for the 2024 Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals training camp is just a couple weeks away starting on July 25, and Sanderson Ford is revved up and ready to go.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

Queen Creek leaders comment on Preston Lord investigation, teen violence in the East Valley