CASA GRANDE, AZ (AP) – Two teenage boys have been arrested in connection with the death of Hailey Stephens, a 17-year-old girl who was shot during a house party in Casa Grande. In a news release issued by the Casa Grande Police Department on Tuesday, a 16-year-old male from Casa Grande and a 17-year-old male from Coolidge have been arrested in relation to Hailey Stephens’ death. Both were booked into the Pinal County Juvenile Detention Center without incident and are expected to be charged with second-degree murder. As of yet, their names have not been released.
The fatal incident occurred early Sunday morning, around 1:30 a.m. when authorities responded to a shooting in the area of East Silver Reef Road and North Olive Avenue. Upon arrival, they discovered Stephens with a gunshot wound to her head and another 17-year-old girl with a gunshot wound to her arm.
Detectives determined that the party was being hosted in a vacant house, and a dispute among party attendees escalated into a shooting, with stray bullets hitting the two girls, both of whom were deemed innocent bystanders.
Chief of Police Mark McCrory commended the collaborative efforts of community members, officers, and detectives in bringing about the arrests. He expressed pride in the department’s consistent work and the valuable assistance provided by the community in the form of information.
The investigation into Stephens’s tragic death is ongoing, with further arrests anticipated as detectives continue to interview witnesses and follow up on leads.
To support Stephens’ family with medical and funeral expenses, the Local 3752 Professional Firefighters of Casa Grande initiated a GoFundMe campaign, which has garnered significant response. As of Tuesday, the campaign has received contributions from 743 individuals, raising a total of $65,028.
Anyone with relevant information related to the murder investigation is urged to come forward and assist the authorities.