Teen Killed In Mesa Del

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A shotgun blast shattered the quiet, predawn hours in Mesa del Caballo Saturday, ending the life of 19-year-old Steve C. Chavez.


The suspected shooter, 34-year-old George G. Dodson, called 911 and waited at the scene for help to arrive, Gila County Sheriff's Det. George Ratliff said.


Dodson, who police said had an altercation with Chavez a month ago, was arrested on charges of first degree murder.


As of Monday, investigators were uncertain what led to the fatal confrontation between the two men Saturday at a house on Vista del Norte.


Investigators do think, however, that alcohol may have been a factor.


Deputy Brian Havey and officers from the Payson Police Department responded to the 911 call at 4:25 a.m.


"There may have been a party going on prior to the shooting," said Payson Police Officer Dean Faust. "Whatever was happening, everyone scattered when the shot was fired."


By the time help arrived, those present included the victim, the suspect, and the victim's mother who lives nearby.


"She was the one who came out first and said her son had been shot," Faust said. "We then found the victim, who was laying on his side with a shot in his upper torso."


"There were other people present in the home at the time of the shooting," Ratliff said, "and these people are being interviewed by the sheriff's office."


A former resident of Mesa del, Chavez moved to Mesa in August.


Dodson made his initial appearance in court Sunday, and he remains in custody in the Gila County Jail in Globe in lieu of a $2 million bond.


An autopsy was scheduled to be performed today in Tucson.


The shooting is still under investigation.

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