Three teens arrested after shooting leaves 17-year-old girl dead in Casa Grande Sunday

Police say two teens were arrested Tuesday, a third turned himself in on Wednesday
Police lights blue night stock
Posted at 11:11 AM, Nov 26, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-01 13:19:52-05

CASA GRANDE, AZ — Three teenagers have been arrested in connection to a shooting that left a 17-year-old dead Sunday in Casa Grande.

Casa Grande police say they were called to the area of SR 387 and Kortsen Road around 1:30 a.m. for a call of a shooting that happened at a house party.

When officers arrived, they found two 17-year-old girls had been shot at what appeared to be a house party at a vacant home.

One of the girls, identified as 17-year-old Hailey Stephens, was taken to the hospital in critical condition. She died from her injuries.

The second teen was struck in the arm and her injury is not considered life-threatening.

Police say a 16-year-old from Casa Grande and a 17-year-old from Coolidge were arrested on Tuesday.

The teenage boys were booked into the Pinal County Juvenile Detention Center and each face charges of murder.

A third teen, an 18-year-old from Coolidge, turned himself in on Wednesday night and was booked into jail on a murder charge.

On Thursday, Casa Grande PD announced four additional teens were arrested in connection to the investigation for felony trespassing.

Police believe an altercation took place at the party between an unknown number of people attending.

They add that the two victims were not involved in the altercation, and officers believe the girls were victims of stray gunfire. Court documents revealed one victim was shot in the head while the other was shot in the arm.

During the investigation, detectives were able to review surveillance video along with videos and photos posted on social media to identify suspects.

The Professional Firefighters of Casa Grande have organized an online fundraiser to support the Stephens family.

ABC15 spoke with Principal Chris Lineberry by Zoom on Tuesday. He tells ABC15 there were a lot of kids who were at the party and others who saw what happened. As a result, they are feeling a tremendous amount of pain and trauma.

"I think as a school - and as a community - one of the best ways to honor her is to have this never happen again. It's just devastating to lose such a bright light and Hailey was absolutely a bright light," said Principal Chris Lineberry, Casa Grande Union High School.

Casa Grande UHSD Superintendent Jeff Lavender issued the following statement in part on Hailey Stephens:

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.

Today, we start the grieving process, and we work to heal from this senseless tragedy. This process will be complicated as we have many questions and what-ifs. As we go through this process, I ask this community to be mindful of the grieving and healing process and be careful not to gossip, speculate, or act out in anger.

The police are investigating this senseless loss of life. If you have information that could be useful to the investigation, please reach out to the Casa Grande Police Department. Investigating a crime is like completing a puzzle. Each piece of the puzzle will help us learn the facts of what happened and bring the shooter to justice. The Stephens family deserves justice for this unjustified loss of life.

We will have crisis teams and a police officer on Union’s campus these next few days to deal with the aftermath of this horrible tragedy. If you need to talk with someone, please reach out, as talking/processing is essential to the grieving process.