Casa Grande, AZ

2 locals arrested in Casa Grande drive-by shooting

Jeremy Beren

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The black Nissan Sentra that detectives believe Beets drove.Courtesy of Casa Grande Police Department

By Jeremy Beren / NewsBreak Pinal County, AZ

(Casa Grande, Ariz.) — Casa Grande police on Monday arrested two local residents in connection with a July 19 shooting.

The shooting, which took place along the 500 block of East Manor Drive, injured a 32-year-old man who was subsequently hospitalized for treatment. The man was shot "several times" while riding on his mini-bike, according to a statement released that evening.

After six days, the Casa Grande Police Department arrested 47-year-old Esiquiel Mata and 34-year-old Amber Beets. The two were taken into custody "without incident," per a media release published Monday on the Casa Grande Police Facebook page.

The statement says that the CGPD is sending Drive By Shooting and Aggravated Assault charges to Pinal County Attorney Kent Volkmer's office for review.

In the days immediately following the shooting, the CGPD says its investigators collected and processed "significant information and intelligence" that led to the arrests carried out on Monday. After identifying the pair of suspects, investigators claim that Mata is believed to be the primary shooter and Beets was the alleged getaway driver of a black Nissan Sentra.

Detectives arrested Mata in Casa Grande, per Monday's statement, and Beets was taken into custody at Harrah's Ak-Chin Casino in Maricopa. The CGPD credited the Ak-Chin Tribal Police Department for its help in arresting Beets.

According to public records accessed by NewsBreak, a notice of appearance for Beets was filed in Pinal County Superior Court on Wednesday. She has appointed counsel and is facing the charges that the CGPD sent to the County Attorney's office.

In Arizona, a drive-by shooting occurs when a person intentionally discharges a weapon at another from a motor vehicle. The victim can be in their own vehicle or occupying a separate structure. As a guideline, a drive-by shooting charge in the state typically carries a seven-year prison term, seeing as it is a Class 2 felony.

Aggravated assault definitions include one person causing serious physical injury to another with or without the use of a deadly weapon or other dangerous instrument, such as a motor vehicle. The punishment for a first offense is a minimum five years' incarceration.

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Jeremy is a freelance journalist covering health, energy, labor, and local politics. Reach him at jeremy.beren@newsbreak.com.

Phoenix, AZ
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