Two Dead and One Police Officer Injured After Graduation
Party Turns Deadly
May 23, 2009
On May 23, 2009 at approximately 11:30 p.m. officers responded
to the 2400 block of West Javelina Avenue in reference to
several shots fired calls. The first two officers on scene were
immediately met with gunfire. Two patrol vehicles were struck
and one officer suffered a gun shot wound to his left arm.
Responding officers were able to rescue the injured officer as
the suspect entered the home and barricaded himself. Several
victims fled the scene prior to police arrival and were later
It was learned that two victims were dead and six others
suffered minor injuries. The injured officer is being treated at
a local hospital and his injuries are considered to be non-life
threatening. No other officers were injured during this
Negotiators made contact with the 37-year-old suspect, who
refused to exit the residence. After more than two hours of
negotiations, the suspect exited the residence and was taken
into custody without incident.
Preliminary information indicates there was a high school
graduation party at the home on Javelina Avenue. The suspect,
who was an invited guest at the party, was involved in an
altercation with one of the deceased victims, believed to be his
ex-wife. The suspect walked way from the home and retrieved a
handgun from his parked vehicle. Shortly after, the suspect
returned and began shooting, killing the 38-year-old female and
a 32-year-old male.
There were several other victims in this incident; their
injuries appear to be very minor and may have been caused by
bullet fragmentation. Two of the victims were juvenile boys,
ages 8 and 10.
May 25, 2009
The suspect in this case, Brent M. Banks, has been booked on the
following charges: First Degree Murder (two counts); Aggravated
Assault with a Deadly Weapon upon a Police Officer (two counts);
Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon on a Minor (two counts);
Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon (five counts);
Kidnapping (one count).
The two victims who were killed during this incident have been
identified as Sally S. Johnson-Huddleston (38 years old) and
Auston G. Blanks (32 years old).
The other victims with injuries from the incident have also been
identified: Officer Cervantes (two years with the Mesa Police
Department); an 8- and a 10-year-old male; Michael Oates (18
years old); Daniel McDonald (20 years old); Zachary Thorstad (20
It has been reported that Brent Banks and Sally
Johnson-Huddleston had been married. We have confirmed they were
never married. During interviews, Brent Banks claimed the
shooting of Sally and Auston was motivated by jealousy. After
observing the two victims together, Brent Banks physically
assaulted Sally Johnson-Huddleston in the front yard of the
home. He then walked to his truck and retrieved two loaded hand
guns from inside the vehicle and returned to the front yard
where he shot both victims. He stated that when he observed the
patrol vehicles responding with their emergency lights on, he
fired at them to scare them.
Officer Cervantes remains hospitalized for the injury to his
left arm, but is expected to make a full recovery after several
surgeries to repair the physical damage to his arm.