Please note that this is preliminary information only based on initial suspect/witness statements and evidence. The incident, which involves numerous suspects and moving parts, remains under investigation today with YCSO detectives still in the field at several crime scenes.
Wilhoit AZ (January 4, 2018) – On January 2, 2018, at approximately 1:30 PM, YCSO deputies and troopers from the Department of Public Safety were dispatched to vehicle collisions in Wilhoit with shots fired. After eventually locating all involved subjects, deputies learned the circumstances that led to the incident in Wilhoit.
January 2, 2018, around noon, a 2002 white Infinity sedan occupied by the driver, 19-year-old Derrick Fabela from Prescott Valley, and passengers, 23-year-old Antony Jaramillo from Apache Junction and 20-year-old Sadat Cruz-Felton from Sacramento, pulled into Mountainaire gas station on Highway 89 in Peeples Valley. In the parking area, the occupants recognize 21-year-old Juan Jimenez from Kirkland who bought drugs from them previously. It was explained that about a month prior, Jimenez purchased 1.5 pounds of marijuana from them and it was later determined he had paid with counterfeit currency. The trio confronted Jimenez and his friend, 20-year-old Miranda Avila from Kirkland, about the use of counterfeit money. Jimenez then suggests they follow him to his home to ‘square this away.’ Jimenez and Miranda are in a gray 2017 Kia Soul sedan.
As both groups leave the gas station, Jimenez sends a text message to associates at his home explaining that he is being followed by the sellers and directs them to ‘get the guns and come to the side of the house.’ The home is located off Highway 89 on W Coughlin Road just north of Peeples Valley. Upon arrival at the home, the occupants in the white Infinity sedan come under gunfire. One of the occupants in the white Infinity returns fire with a handgun and eventually runs out of ammunition. The Infinity, driven by Fabela, flees. Occupants of the Kia, which include Avila as the driver with Jimenez and the addition of a 17-year-old male as another passenger, give chase. A high speed pursuit proceeds north on Highway 89 and during the chase, Jimenez fires several rounds outside the passenger window towards the Infinity sedan. Both vehicles eventually run off the roadway in Wilhoit with the occupants of the Infinity fleeing into the woods before they end up banging on the door of a nearby home asking for help.
Numerous deputies arrive, search the area, and eventually locate the involved subjects. A handgun is recovered from the Infinity and a shot gun and AR-15 rifle from the Kia. The Infinity was struck several times by gunfire with Cruz-Felton sustaining an apparent gunshot related wound to his hand.
As a result of the initial investigation, 5 suspects were booked for the following charges:
Occupants of the Kia –
Miranda Avila – Attempted 1st degree murder, Drive by Shooting, Weapons Misconduct and Endangerment.
Juan Jimenez – Attempted 1st degree murder, Drive by shooting, Weapons Misconduct and Endangerment.
17-year-old juvenile – charges under review are pending.
Occupants of the Infinity –
Derrik Fabela – Conspiracy to commit: Aggravated Assault, Weapons Misconduct, Criminal Syndicate charge per 13-2308A2, possession of MJ and paraphernalia.
Antony Jaramillo – Conspiracy to commit: Aggravated Assault, Weapons Misconduct, Criminal Syndicate charge per 13-2308A2, possession of MJ and paraphernalia.
Sadaat Cruz-Felton Aggravated Assault, Weapons Misconduct and Criminal Syndicate per 13-2308A2, and Prohibited Possessor.
Bonds have not been set as of this writing.
Citizens can contact the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office with information or questions at 928-771-3260 or the YCSO website: www.ycsoaz.gov