Tragic Incident Claims Teen Girl’s Life; Community Mourns Loss
In the aftermath of a fatal shooting at a Casa Grande house party that left a teenage girl dead and another injured, authorities have arrested a third murder suspect. Eighteen-year-old Jesiah Amaru Street of Coolidge is now in custody, facing charges related to the shooting death of Hailey Stephens. Additionally, four other Casa Grande teens are charged with criminal trespassing felonies in connection to the tragic incident.
Street turned himself in on Wednesday night, and he has been booked into the Pinal County Adult Detention Center. Charges of second-degree murder against him will be reviewed by the Pinal County Attorney’s Office. Two other teenagers, a 16-year-old boy from Casa Grande and a 17-year-old boy from Coolidge, were previously arrested in connection to Stephens’ death and could face second-degree murder charges. Casa Grande police have hinted at the possibility of more arrests as the investigation continues.
The incident unfolded at a vacant home where a party was held after an invitation was posted on Snapchat. Investigators revealed that the location had no official authorization for the gathering. Approximately 60 shots were fired during the event, attended by around 60 people. Hailey Stephens, shot in the head, was rushed to the hospital in critical condition and later succumbed to her injuries. Another 17-year-old girl was also shot but is expected to survive. Detective work, including witness interviews and social media videos, has aided in reconstructing the details of the shooting.
At Casa Grande Union High School, where Stephens was a senior and actively involved in National Honor Society, FFA, and cheerleading, tributes abound. Messages of love and remembrance are chalked in her parking spot, and flowers are scattered across the campus. The school is hosting a vigil and balloon release in memory of Stephens, acknowledging the pain felt by the students and the community.
Principal Dr. Chris Lineberry described Stephens as a “sunbeam,” stating, “The world is definitely darker now without her in it.” The 17-year-old victim, caught in the crossfire, was an innocent bystander. The school is rallying support for grieving students, emphasizing the importance of unity during such challenging times.
Jesiah Amaru Street is currently held on a $100,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court on December 8. As the community grapples with this tragedy, a GoFundMe page has been established to assist Stephens’ family.