3 arrested after man shot, killed in Phoenix: police

Carl Blazak, Keith McCollough, and Jimmy Eslinger were arrested in connection to the shooting death of Richard Coss, police said.

The Phoenix Police Department says three men have been arrested for shooting and killing another man after an alleged altercation with a female neighbor.

Just before 1 a.m. on Dec. 18, officers responded to reports of a shooting near 23rd Avenue and Deer Valley Road. That's where they found 25-year-old Richard Coss dead.

"Preliminary information is the victim was shot in an apartment after an altercation," says Phoenix Police Sgt. Ann Justus.

Detectives developed probable cause to arrest 46-year-old Carl Blazak on suspicion of murder. He was booked into jail.

Police released further details on the shooting two days later, saying Blazak and the two other unknown suspects showed up to Coss' apartment, pushed their way inside, and shot him.

"A witness, the victim's girlfriend fled the apartment and dialed 911. Police responded and located the victim inside his apartment with an apparent gunshot wound to the chest. The victim
was pronounced deceased on scene. The other male resident reported he, the victim, and the victim's girlfriend were in their apartment when there was a knock at the door," police explained.

That's when Coss reportedly opened the door and at least three men rushed inside and began fighting with the victim.

"The witness observed one of the males produce a handgun and shoot The victim in the chest. After the shooting, the suspects fled the apartment. The witness stated everyone was wearing masks, so he could not identify anyone," police went on to say.

Coss' girlfriend told police that her boyfriend and a female downstairs neighbor, who she is reportedly friends with, got into an argument.

"After the altercation, the female neighbor informed the witness she called someone to take care of the victim," police said. That's when Blazak and the group of suspects allegedly arrived and killed the victim.

A witness fled after she heard a gunshot, saying she didn't see the shooting take place, but was able to see one of the men who wasn't wearing a mask and identify him as a suspect by looking at a photo.

"The witness identified the defendant as the husband of the female who the victim got into a verbal altercation with. The defendant lived in the apartment below the witness and the witness had known the defendant for approximately one year," police said.

A search warrant was conducted at the home of the suspect, and he and his wife were taken into custody, police say.

"During interview, the defendant stated he did not shoot the victim but indicated being present during the altercation. The defendant would not provide any further information. During interview, the defendant's wife denied any knowledge of the homicide but did say she told her husband she had a dispute with the neighbors upstairs," police added.

On Dec. 23, police announced that 49-year-old Keith McCollough and 29-year-old Jimmy Eslinger were also arrested in connection to the shooting.

Both men were booked into jail and are accused of first-degree murder.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the Phoenix Police Department at 602-262-6151, or Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS. Silent Witness callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward.

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