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80 shots and 9 guns says TPD at drive-by shooting murder

Public tips led to arrests in death of 20 year old UA student
Posted at 7:32 PM, Jun 20, 2024

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — 80 shots—and nine guns. Tucson Police believe there was that much firepower at the drive by shooting that killed 20 year old University of Arizona student Erin Jones. Police say help from the public helped them make the four arrests so far in the case.

We are learning more about how Tucson Police were able to make arrests in the drive by shooting that killed 20 year old Erin Jones. She was caught in the middle when word of a normal party got out on social media, and strangers showed up who used guns to play out their dispute.

Captain Doug Foster says “I think that there was something about that party, something about, you know, when we presented it to the community, just the number of gunshots that occurred, the nature of the incident, these young people that had to endure that level of violence that just resonated with people.”

Captain Doug Foster says as the father of college and high school aged children the shooting affected him beyond his duty as a police officer and the supervisor of TPD’s Criminal Investigation Division.

What was an ordinary college party turned deadly when word got out on social media, strangers with guns showed up, and played out their grudges while innocent students like Erin Jones were caught in the middle.

Captain Foster says asking the public for help shook out leads police turned into arrests—starting with help identifying the car detectives say Estevan Garcia drove as gunmen fired out the car windows.

Foster says, “There were over 80 shell casings that we retrieved from that crime scene. A number of shots as everybody heard on that video. We believe from the ballistic evidence that we've recovered on that scene. There may have been nine firearms involved in that incident.”

And he says police believe there were shooters outside the car, besides the four teens in the car.

Those four, Estevan Garcia, Tevion Beale, Marcus Williams and Akeem Alvarez, are in jail facing first degree murder charges and police say there are others they’re still working to find.

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Craig Smith is a reporter for KGUN 9. With more than 40 years of reporting in cities like Tampa, Houston and Austin, Craig has covered more than 40 Space Shuttle launches and covered historic hurricanes like Katrina, Ivan, Andrew and Hugo. Share your story ideas and important issues with Craig by emailing craig.smith@kgun9.com or by connecting on Facebook and Twitter.