On Sunday afternoon, 50-year-old Linda Pirelli-Brown was shot dead in her San Tan Valley home.
While authorities haven't taken anyone into custody yet, they believe the killer was an acquaintance of Pirelli-Brown's 25-year-old daughter. According to Fox 10 News, the shooting may have been over an alleged drug debt.
Pirelli-Brown's daughter had taken her 8-year-old sister to a nearby McDonald's on Friday when she got a call from Pirelli-Brown saying a man with a gun was at their home, authorities said. The daughter called 911.
Deputies found Pirelli-Brown shot several times in the face and chest. She was rushed to a nearby hospital, but died from her injuries.
Pinal County Sheriff's Office hasn't yet released the identity of the shooter or any type of motive. However, PCSO spokesman Tim Gaffney said the person of interest authorities are looking for is someone the victim's family knows.
According to Fox 10, that person may have gone to the home to collect drug money allegedly owed by Pirelli-Brown's 25-year-old daughter. That's pure conjecture at this point, however, since the PCSO hasn't yet confirmed the information.
Whatever the case, the perpetrator will probably be charged with first-degree murder. Under Arizona law, first degree murder is a killing that was premeditated, meaning it was thought-out or planned. While the shooter here may not have entered the home with the intention of killing Pirelli-Brown, first degree murder requires only a moment of reflection.
In Arizona, first-degree murder is punishable by life in prison or the death penalty. The death penalty is often applied in cases where the defendant shows no remorse or has a long history of violent crime. Stay tuned for updates on this case.
- San Tan Valley woman dies after shot inside her home (CBS 5 News)
- First Degree Murder Overview (FindLaw)
- Death Penalty Challenges (FindLaw)
- Angel Padilla Arrested for Kidnapping Wife, Firing at Officer (FindLaw's Phoenix Criminal Law Blog)