Murder suspect quiet, friendly according to neighbors

Crime Scene
Police outside the Rancho Mirage home as they perform an investigation on the double homicide. [Ian Roberds]

Maricopa police responded to a reported shooting at the 37000 block of W. Prado Street this morning and found two deceased adults, according to MPD spokesman Luis Vila.

Witnesses identified Juan Jose Cazares Jr., 38, who lives at the home where the incident happened, as the shooter. Police say he fled in a 2003 grey Dodge Ram 1500 pickup truck with the Arizona license plate JWNA2A.

Suspect: Juan Jose Cazares Jr.

Police Sgt. Hal Koozer said the department is using all the resources at its disposal to investigate. “Detectives are on it, and we’re using a lot of DPS and county folks as well.”

Koozer added MPD is still investigating Cazares’ background to see if he has a prior arrest record or outstanding warrants.

Neighbors in the Rancho Mirage neighborhood confirmed that Cazares is a resident of the neighborhood.

“He definitely lives here,” said neighbor Maren Waks. “We saw him driving all the time and going from his home quite a bit. Any time I’m unloading my kids from the car or unloading groceries I always see him. He smiles and waves every single time.”

Waks said since the incident occurred so early in the morning, she didn’t see anything except the police presence.

“So far all we’ve heard is there was a double homicide and he ended up taking off,” she said. “Apparently, it happened around 4:30 this morning. We didn’t hear any gunshots or any of that. I came out at 7 a.m. and I just saw all the tape, heard the cops and helicopters going around.”

Neighbor Meghan East said Cazares was quiet around her. “He never talks really,” she said.

Check back for updates to this developing story.

Double Homicide
Maricopa Police at the scene of a double Homicide 08/18/2021 – Photo by Ian Roberds