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Tolleson group home stabbing raises questions

The 26-year-old suspect allegedly stabbed his roommate to death.

TOLLESON, Ariz. — The resident of a Tolleson group home has been arrested on suspicion of stabbing his roommate to death.

Naijier Wakefield, 26, was taken into custody Monday after the group home's residents allegedly saw him covered in blood and holding a knife. The home is located near 107th Avenue and Broadway Road.

Wakefield told police he attacked the roommate in "self-defense," court records show. The victim's identity has not yet been disclosed.

Those same documents claim the victim was stabbed more than 20 times all over their body. When investigators entered the home, they said the walls and floor were covered in blood. They also discovered several knives throughout the kitchen. Some with broken blades, others coated in blood.

Investigators spoke with several other roommates living in the group home, including the house manager.  According to the document, he told them that he woke up to sounds from one of the bedrooms. When he entered, he claims to have seen Wakefield standing over the victim. When he asked Wakefield what he was doing, he said the suspect didn't answer and just stared at him.

Tristin De La Rosa lives right next door to the home. 

“For this to happen, it’s kind of crazy, you know?” he said.

That same morning, he was awakened by the sound of someone in his backyard. De La Rosa said he heard someone trying to open his back door. He grabbed his gun and walked over to see what was happening.

"I see the guy standing right there outside my door,” De La Rosa said, believing that person was Wakefield.

He ran back to his room to wake up his fiancée. When De La Rosa returned to the door, the person was gone. Believing he had hoped over the fence. What was left behind was a trail of blood.

“Blood all over the handle right here all over here," De La Rosa said. "You could see some fingerprints on here on the door.”

Wakefield was booked into the Maricopa County jail for pending criminal charges.

Avondale police would not disclose the name of the "group home" or what kind of facility it could be.  Police responded to the home four times in the past two months, although the stabbing is the only homicide case.

A spokesperson for Arizona's Department of Health Services said the agency does not have any licensed facilities at that address.  The address also did not appear in a search on the AHCCCS provider portal.

Court records show 26-year-old Wakefield has a criminal history and served time in prison for aggravated assault and weapons charges.  He was released from prison in 2021, and it's not clear how he came to live at the home.

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