Casa Grande, AZ

Casa Grande PD begins double homicide investigation after shooting deaths of two teenagers

Jeremy Beren
A number of 9mm casings like this were found at the scene Sunday.Justin Connaher/Flickr

By Jeremy Beren / NewsBreak Pinal County, AZ

(Casa Grande, Ariz.) — The Casa Grande Police Department has started an investigation into a purported double homicide that took place at the Sonoran Apartments around 8:40 p.m. on Sunday night.

A Monday morning press release made public on the Casa Grande Police's official Facebook page states officers encountered "a chaotic scene" after receiving calls of shots being fired in the complex. Residents had been attempting to provide aid when the officers came upon two victims, situated in a Chrysler 300, who had sustained multiple gunshot wounds. Nearly 30 9mm casings were discovered around the vehicle.

One victim, 18-year-old Leslie Cota, had been shot several times in the torso and died on the scene. The other, a 17-year-old who has not yet been identified owing to her age, was found behind the vehicle and had also suffered several gunshot wounds to her midsection. The 17-year-old was transported to a Valley hospital once officers and fire department personnel arrived, but police said she died from her injuries on Monday morning.

Witnesses described Cota and the 17-year-old as friends. It is unknown at this time if they were the intended targets Sunday night.

Detectives believe the alleged assailant left the scene heading south in a newer-model silver or gray Chrysler 300, separate from the vehicle found in the Sonoran Apartments' south parking lot. The statement described this vehicle as having "tinted windows (and) black rims, with a loud exhaust."

The Casa Grande Police Department does not currently have a physical description of the suspect and has not yet established any potential motive. The statement encourages anyone with information pertaining to the shootings — especially anyone with video surveillance — to contact the Casa Grande PD at (520) 421-8711 and ask for extension 6294. Anonymous tips are accepted through Silent Witness, at (520) 836-2100.

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Jeremy is a freelance journalist covering health, energy, labor, and local politics. Reach him at

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