Sixteen Year Old Arrested for 1st Degree Murder

August 16, 2011

On 08/15/2011 at 2:42 PM a call of a shooting was dispatched at 8538 East Meseto. When officers arrived, they found the victim, 42-year-old Denna Strebe, lying in the laundry room of the residence with what appeared to be a gunshot to the head. Lifesaving measures were taken, but the victim ultimately died at a nearby hospital. Statements from family members, who were inside the residence at the time of the shooting, named the person who shot the victim as a 16-year-old male who is known to the family as the boyfriend of the victim's 18-year-old daughter, who also lives in the residence.

The son of the victim heard a gunshot from the laundry room area of the residence and saw the suspect emerge from the laundry room with a gun in his hand. The son ran into a bedroom where the suspect and he engaged in a physical confrontation. The noise of the confrontation woke up the victim's husband and homeowner. He stated in an interview that he saw the suspect and his son engaged in a physical confrontation in his daughter's bedroom. The victim's husband ran to the confrontation where he saw the suspect still holding a pistol in his right hand. He was able to forcibly remove the weapon from the suspect's hand and ran to the laundry room, where he found his wife on the floor with a gunshot wound to the head.

The suspect was able to free himself and escape from the residence via the bedroom window. Mesa police officers located and detained the suspect at 7105 East Superstition Springs Blvd in Mesa at approximately 5:15 PM.

During an interview with investigators, the suspect admitted to stealing his father's pistol from his closet. While trying to load the weapon in his residence, he accidently discharged the weapon into his bedroom wall. The suspect left his residence on foot with his father's weapon on his person. At some point the suspect walked over to his girlfriend's parents' home. Once there, he lifted the garage door and waited in the garage for someone to open the door leading from the garage into the residence. After approximately 15 minutes, the victim opened the garage service door and the suspect forced his way into the home, pointing the weapon directly at the victim. A brief struggle ensued and the weapon discharged, striking the victim in the head and killing her.

The defendant went on to say that he walked to his girlfriend's bedroom and was met with a physical confrontation from her brother. The suspect told the investigator that he decided to steal his father's pistol and go over to his girlfriend's home earlier in the day while he was still in school. He also stated that his goal was to either go over to his girlfriend's home and kill himself or kill his girlfriend and then kill himself.

As a result of this investigation, the 16-year-old suspect has been booked into the Maricopa County Juvenile Detention Facility on one count of 1st Degree Murder and one count of 1st Degree Burglary.

 

 

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