MESA, Ariz. - Police say three people were found dead on Monday night inside a Mesa home near Signal Butte and Elliot Roads.
Investigators say at 8:20 p.m. on March 8, officers responded to a shots fired call, which came in after a 12-year-old girl ran to a nearby residence asking for help. She had a non-life-threatening gunshot wound to her wrist. The girl was transported to a hospital and remains in stable condition.
When police entered the home, "Officers observed two bodies lying on the ground on the first floor of the home, surrounded by a significant amount of blood. These two people were later identified as
51-year-old Ruben Sanchez and his wife, 49-year-old Ana Guerra," stated Detective Brandi George.
A third victim, identified as 18-year-old Amy Sanchez, was found on the second floor.
Homicide detectives say all three victims appeared to have gunshot wounds. A handgun was located in the house, along with ammunition.
FOX 10 has obtained a video taken by an area resident on the night of March 8, showing police outside the home and calling on Ruben Sanchez and his family to come out.
"Come out and do as you are instructed. We can guarantee your safety," a police official was heard saying, in the video.
Investigators believe Ruben Sanchez was the shooter, however, they are awaiting the test results of forensic evidence.
"This investigation is still in the early stages and much more work needs to be completed. At this point in the investigation, this tragic incident appears to be a case of murder/suicide," stated George.
As an investigation into the incident continues, people in the area are sharing their heartbreak.
Throughout the day on March 9, families have dropped off flowers and candles, as well as praying for loved ones impacted by the incident.
"I lost my brother, lost my nieces, lost my sister-in-law. It's brutal," said Marco Sanchez.
"She was my best friend," said Emma McKinnie, who was friends with Amy.
McKinnie, still in shock, left flowers near the home. She said she almost went to the home to hang out with Amy on March 8.
"I was supposed to be with her, and then I decided to go home and do some schoolwork," said McKinnie.
McKinnie, who called the Sanchez her 'second family,' says Amy brought light into her life.
"I'm a much better person because of her," said McKinnie. "She always had this positive radiance. She was always happy. She was always smiling. She wanted the best for everybody."
If you or a loved one is feeling distressed, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The crisis center provides free and confidential emotional support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to civilians and veterans. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (tel:18002738255). Or text HOME to 741-741 (Crisis Text Line)
CLICK HERE for the warning signs and risk factors of suicide.
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