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Two women shot dead in front of Arizona courthouse over custody dispute

June 29, 2016  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
Two women shot dead in front of Arizona courthouse over custody dispute

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An Arizona man shot and killed a mother and grandmother at the entryway of a courthouse following a child custody hearing, Arizona law enforcement officials said on Tuesday.

Deputies with the Navajo County Sheriff’s Office swarmed the Holbrook courthouse and discovered two victims with fatal gunshot wounds. A third woman was also injured in the shooting.

Police arrested a suspect at the scene, identified as 47-year-old Arizona resident Salomon Diaz, on charges of second-degree murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

County officials told the AZ Family that Diaz attended a court hearing over the custody of two children along Ashley Utley, 25, of New Mexico and Sherry Quintero-Davenport, 45, identified as the mother and grandmother of the two kids.

Sheriff K.C. Clark said Diaz has no prior history of domestic violence. He is the paternal grandfather who had custody of the two children because of an open case of abuse with the Department of Child Safety.

However, when the proceeding didn’t go the way he wanted, Diaz retrieved a gun from his vehicle and opened fire, killing the two women, while injuring 68-year-old Angela Chambers, the children’s aunt in the leg.

“We still don’t have a motive yet; we aren’t in his mind, we do know the suspect was involved in the hearing, and for whatever reason, it led to him opening fire,” Navajo County spokesman Adam Wolfe said.

However, he indicated that the evidence suggests the shooting was “personal, and not an attempt at a mass shooting,” according to the Arizona Republic.

Clark told the Arizona Republic that the judge overseeing Tuesday afternoon granted Utley visitation rights.

“The Judge made the ruling and then she (Utley) turned around and grinned,” Clark said.

“The woman’s reaction primed him into action; he obviously had a plan, that grin must’ve triggered something because he left courtroom went out to his car, then came back up and shot three people,” the Sheriff added.

Diaz’s wife reportedly purchased the gun last week, which he had wrapped in a towel and placed it under the seat of his car before Tuesday’s court hearing.

“Did he just snap? How do you go from just being mad to absolutely losing your mind and shooting three people and killing two of them?” Clark wondered.

Officials said the father of the two children, who is a Gallup police officer, had also attended the court proceeding.

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