A double shooting that left two 19-year-old men dead after an early morning Sunday party in Chandler was justified as an act of self-defense, according to Chandler police.
The man who shot the two men, who both were documented gang members, pulled out his gun as he was being kicked and beaten on the ground after trying to stop them from leaving the house with a keg of beer, said Detective Dave Ramer, a Chandler police spokesman. One of the men who was shot had pulled out a gun and was waving it in a threatening manner, Ramer said.
Police responded to complaints of a party that had gotten out of hand in the 600 block of North Sunland Drive shortly after 1 a.m. and found that the two men had been shot. The shooter initially was arrested and detained while police questioned witnesses, but after gathering information police determined the shooting was in self-defense.
The two men who were shot were identified as Alexis Contreras and Brandon Beck, according to Chandler police.
They were among 11 uninvited guests who were documented gang members who showed up at the party, police said. People attending the party. which had a $2 cover charge, became uncomfortable with the uninvited guests and the party was shut down. The two men became agitated and tried to take the keg because they didn’t think they got their money’s worth, Ramer said.
Beck and Contreras were taken to a nearby hospital, where they both were pronounced dead on arrival. Their deaths marked Chandler’s fourth and fifth homicide of the year, Ramer said.
Seven other documented gang members who were among the uninvited guests were arrested on suspicion of robbery and felony murder, according to police: Cesar Banuelos, 18; Juan Banuelos, 20; Andy Delgado, 18; Joseph Leyba, 19; Manuel Soto, 18; David Vega, 18; and Jose Vega, 20. Two of the gang members who also are suspects in the crime remain loose.
The name of the man who shot the two gang members was not released because he is considered to be a victim, Ramer said.