UPDATE: More details released in double fatal shooting in Tucson

Zachary Naifeh accused of killing Celina R. Garcia and Rashad Laron Smith
(Tucson Police Department)
Published: Mar. 23, 2022 at 10:14 AM MST|Updated: Mar. 28, 2022 at 6:36 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Court documents are shining more light on a double fatal shooting that happened in Tucson on Wednesday, March 23.

Zachary Joseph Thomas Naifeh, 24, has been arrested on charges of first-degree murder and prohibited possessor. He is being held on a $2 million bond.

The Tucson Police Department said officers responded to a report of shots heard in an alley near 12th Avenue and Corona Road on March 23.

The TPD said Celina R. Garcia, 39, and Rashad Laron Smith, 44, were found dead at the scene. Detectives gathered evidence at the scene and conducted several interviews in the area. They also found several 9mm casings around the victims.

Witnesses told investigators they heard what sounded like an argument, followed by a single gunshot. The witnesses then reportedly heard what sounded like a woman pleading for her life: “No, no, no. I have kids.”

Then, five to seven shots rang out.

Investigators said they determined that Smith, Garcia, Naifeh and an unnamed woman were in a Jeep when Smith and Garcia got into an argument that turned physical. Naifeh reportedly ordered Smith out of the car several times, but he refused.

Naifeh then reportedly got out, opened Smith’s door and shot him in the chest. According to the court documents, Naifeh told Garcia to push Smith out of the car, which she did. She then got out and knelt beside Smith.

Authorities said Naifeh then pointed the gun at Garcia and ordered her to get back in the car and start it. When she stood up, he allegedly shot her four times.

Naifeh got back in the vehicle and ordered the fourth person inside to drive away.

The TPD said they obtained a description of a vehicle that was seen leaving the area.

On Friday, March 25, police found the vehicle in the 3600 block of East Grant Road. Four people were detained and Naifeh was identified as the driver. Authorities said two of the passengers were not involved in the shooting. The fourth person was the unnamed woman who was allegedly in the vehicle at the time of the shooting.

The TPD said inside the vehicle, officers found a revolver and a 9mm handgun, which matched the gun used in the shooting. The vehicle and gun had both been reported stolen earlier this month.

Detectives said Naifeh knew Garcia and Smith.

Court records indicate Naifeh has a criminal history dating back to 2017, when he was convicted of theft. In the next year, he was convicted of flight from an officer. In the fall of 2019, Naifeh was convicted of armed robbery and sentenced to three years in prison, during which he was found guilty of several infractions.

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