HOLBROOK, Ariz. (AP) — An Arizona man who shot and killed the mother of his grandchildren outside a courthouse after a custody hearing in rural Arizona has been charged with first-degree murder.
Navajo County spokesman Adam Wolfe says Salomon Diaz, 47, of Snowflake was being held on a $2 million bond.
Police say Diaz fatally shot Ashley Utley, 25, and her mother, Sherry Quintero-Davenport, 45, on Tuesday outside a courthouse in Holbrook over a custody dispute. Another woman was injured and was recovering.
Police at first recommended charges of second-degree murder, but Navajo County Attorney Brad Carlyon says his office filed first-degree charges, along with one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
His next court appearance is scheduled for July 8.
Diaz has been assigned a public defender but the Associated Press has not been able to reach him.
Police say the shooting unfolded after a court hearing on Tuesday in front of horrified relatives who witnessed the killings. The gunfire prompted authorities to briefly lock down the courthouse as officers swept the building to ensure the safety of the public and workers.
A check of Arizona court records showed Diaz was cited for various traffic violations over the years but didn’t appear to have any arrests for violent crimes.
Police said Diaz had taken care of his son’s children for an extended time. Investigators have not provided any details about the custody hearing or the dispute.
“We don’t know the specifics of it,” county spokesman Adam Wolfe said late Tuesday. “It appears to be a personal motive. This is not a mass shooting attempt.”
Holbrook has a population of about 5,000. It sits along Route 66 and is about 90 miles east of Flagstaff.