CASA GRANDE, Ariz. - Police say nine arrests have been made in connection with a shooting at a house party in the Pinal County city that left a teen girl dead and another injured.
Casa Grande Police say five people have been arrested in connection to the shooting death – a 13-year-old boy, a 15-year-old boy, a 16-year-old boy from Casa Grande, a 17-year-old boy from Coolidge, Jesiah Amaru Street, an 18-year-old Coolidge man.
Each suspect is accused of murder.
The other four arrests were of Casa Grande teens aged 15, 16, 16, and 17. They are accused of criminal trespass.
Shooting shocked community
At around 1:30 a.m. on Nov. 26, officers responded to reports of a shooting near Pinal Avenue and Kortsen Road. That's where they found two girls, both 17, who were shot.
The teen who died, identified by police as 17-year-old Hailey Stephens, was shot in the head and died on Nov. 26.
According to our initial report, the other teen, also a 17-year-old, was shot in the arm and is expected to survive.
Police described more in detail, saying, "Based on evidence and information identified on scene, Detectives have determined a house party was being held in a vacant home on Silver Reef Road. An altercation took place between an unknown number of party attendees. At some point during this altercation, shots were fired between the parties involved."
The girls don't appear to have been involved and were "innocent victims of stray gunfire."
Casa Grande Union High School District says the teens were students.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the families, and we are respecting their privacy at this time," the district said on Nov. 26.
Hailey's parents say they want justice for their daughter.
"If you know anything, and you know Hailey, you know what a good person she was. Sassy, sometimes. But you know that she was a good person. You know that Hailey had a huge life in front of her. Somebody did something wrong, and they should pay for their crime," Hailey's mother said.
Jeff Lavender, the district's superintendent, released a statement on Hailey's death, saying in part, "Hailey was ranked number #19 in her class while maintaining a 4.33 grade point average. She was also involved in hard-working activities like FFA and cheerleading. I have spoken to some of her current and past teachers, and they described an extraordinary young lady who was a source of sunlight in their classrooms as she was kind to everybody. Hailey also had a beautiful smile that will be etched in the memories of the hearts and minds of all her family, educators, and friends."
An investigation remains ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to call Silent Witness at 520-836-2100.