2 arrested for smoke shop clerk murder - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

3rd suspect arrested for smoke shop clerk murder

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Garcia; Mesa Garcia; Mesa
PHOENIX (KSAZ) - A total of three men have been arrested after a man was found dead in a Phoenix smoke shop.

Police were called to 99 Smoke N Pipe near Indian School and 5th Avenue on April 29 after two customers were confronted by three Hispanic males and told to leave the area.

The customers returned 10 minutes later to find the store clerk, 47-year-old Kadhim Fakher Al Taee dead and the store ransacked. Taee's 2004 Cadillac Escalade was also missing.

According to police, they received a tip from someone who named 18-year-old Alex Garcia, 21-year-old Jessie Mesa and a third Hispanic man as the suspects in the murder.

Garcia and Mesa were allegedly bragging about robbing and killing the victim.

Officers began watching an apartment that the men repeatedly visited and got a search warrant. Mesa and Garcia were among the people taken in for questioning.

During Garcia's interview, a police report states he admitted that he, Mesa and another man planned to rob the store and that he brought a gun inside and shot the clerk.

He also allegedly told officers that they fled in the clerk's vehicle.

However, Garcia claims he wasn't involved in the incident at all.

According to a police report, several witnesses said the suspects had admitted to their crimes.

Both men were arrested on May 2 and face charges of first degree murder, armed robbery with a deadly weapon, theft and arson.

Throughout the investigation, police say they identified 24-year-old Lorenzo Garcia as the third suspect. He was arrested on May 13 and booked into jail on charges of first degree murder and armed robbery.

The missing Cadillac Escalade was found abandoned in Peoria on May 12.
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