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Police: Suspect detained after killing 18-year-old in Phoenix

The young man was found early Tuesday morning with fatal gunshot wounds at a residence in central Phoenix.
Credit: zef art - stock.adobe.com

PHOENIX — An 18-year-old man is dead after he was shot early Tuesday morning in central Phoenix, officials said. 

Jesus Alexander Reyes-Morales was found by police at about 1 a.m. near 27th Avenue and Melvin Street with fatal gunshot wounds. He was pronounced deceased at the scene.

Phoenix police said the victim was visiting a friend's house when the friend's former boyfriend, 29-year-old Jose Olegario Gomez Herrera, arrived at the residence and allegedly shot the 18-year-old. The ex-boyfriend then left the home and was later apprehended by police. 

Police said Herrera was booked into jail on multiple criminal charges including 1st-Degree Murder and Tampering with Physical Evidence.

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What is the Valley?

“The Valley” is what locals call the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. It is considered the largest metropolitan area in the Southwest. 

The Valley is made up of various major cities other than Phoenix, including:

  • Mesa
  • Chandler
  • Scottsdale
  • Tempe
  • Glendale
  • Surprise
  • Peoria
  • Gilbert
  • El Mirage
  • Avondale
  • Litchfield Park
  • Goodyear
  • Buckeye

Whether a city is in the “East Valley” or “West Valley” depends on where it is in relation to Phoenix.

The cities of the Valley have a combined population of 4,845,832 people, according to the 2020 United States Census. This makes it the 11th largest metropolitan area in the country right behind the Boston and Atlanta areas.

How big is Maricopa County?:

Maricopa County is the United States’ 4th largest county in terms of population with 4,485,414 people, according to the 2020 Census.

The county contains around 63% of Arizona’s population and is 9,224 square miles. That makes the county larger than seven U.S. states (Rhode Island, Delaware, Connecticut, Hawaii, New Jersey, Massachusetts and New Hampshire).

One of the largest park systems in the nation is also located in Maricopa County. The county has an estimated 120,000 acres of open space parks that includes hundreds of miles of trails, nature centers and campgrounds.

The county’s seat is located in Phoenix, which is also the state capital and the census-designated 5th most populous city in the United States.

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