Three teenagers are facing terrorism charges for a crime spree that involved a stolen police officer's AR-15 and a stolen SUV, according to court documents.
Jovani Valdez, 18, a 15-year-old and a 14-year-old were arrested Friday afternoon after firing an AR-15 at several people and robbing someone at gunpoint, according to court paperwork. The teens were in a stolen Ford Escape. The gun was stolen from a Gila River police officer's Avondale home that morning around 3:30 a.m.
Court documents say that on Friday around 1 p.m., Phoenix police officers responded to a 911 call that a Ford Escape was aggressively following a city bus and that Valdez was recklessly firing the AR-15 from the SVU near 51st Avenue and Van Buren Street.
Minutes later, near 63rd Avenue and Lower Buckeye Road, another victim reported to police that someone in the Ford Escape was firing the AR-15, according to court documents.
Shortly after that, another victim alerted the authorities after two of the teens robbed the victim at gunpoint near 67th Avenue and Yuma Street.
According to court documents, the victim told police that one the two teens, who he said looked about 15 years old, got out of the Ford Escape and took a cell phone and headphones before telling the victim to run. As the victim was running, one of the teens fired the AR-15.
A nearby witness saw the armed robbery and took photos of the Ford Escape license plate to give to the police, court documents say.
Officers later found the Ford Escape unoccupied near 83rd Avenue and Van Buren Street and searched for the suspects. Valdez was found hiding in a nearby Circle K with the AR-15 rifle in his pants and two other teens were found hiding in a nearby dumpster, according to court paperwork.
Valdez admitted that he was the one who fired at the city bus and at the armed robbery victim. He said he knew someone on the bus who he was mad at from a previous incident, court documents say. Valdez told investigators that someone else in the car shot the AR-15 at 63rd Avenue and Buckeye Road just "for fun."
One of the juveniles admitted to driving the stolen Ford Escape during the crime spree. He also told police he was picked up in a stolen Chevy Malibu earlier that day and that he previously stole a Dodge Ram pickup truck.
Valdez and the two juveniles share a long list of charges including aggravated assault, armed robbery and drive-by shooting.