Two senior citizens were arrested Sunday in the most serious road rage incident the Payson area has ever seen, according to Gila County Sheriff's Det. George Ratliff.
Apache Junction residents Bernard McKee, 69, and his wife, 67-year-old Dorothy McKee, were arrested in Heber after reportedly fleeing Kohl's Ranch Lodge, where they allegedly physically assaulted another couple and fired a gun at them.
Shelly Little, 35, of Anthem, Ariz., said she and her husband saw the whole incident.
"I was sitting in front of the lodge with my dog and my husband, looking out at the parking lot," Little said in her statement to the sheriff's department. "I looked up and saw two women and a man arguing and pushing each other ... and an older man on the other side of his truck holding a gun and waving it, shouting."
Another witness, 17-year-old Rachel Prise of California, said the noise of the altercation woke her up while she was sleeping in a nearby van.
"I heard a lot of yelling, so I sat up," she wrote in her witness statement. "A man in a light blue truck stepped out with a gun in his right hand, walked to the hood of the car and shot at the other vehicle (a Jeep). The Jeep backed out and the man walked to the back of the truck and fired another shot at the Jeep as it exited the parking lot."
One of the shots hit a parked van nearby. Detectives could not find where the second shot landed.
The alleged gunman was Mr. McKee, who faces two counts of attempted second-degree murder, two counts of endangerment, two counts of aggravated assault and one count of drive-by shooting.
The owners of the Jeep, 26-year-old Kenneth Sherman and 22-year-old Lisa Sherman of Chandler, were not charged with a crime and were pretty shaken up by the incident, Ratliff said.
"(Lisa) was still shaken up on the phone when I talked to her," he said. "I asked if I could interview her and she said she wanted to do it over the phone. And we allow people to do that because when you're victimized once, we don't want to have to do it again."
The Shermans were unavailable for comment.
Mrs. McKee was charged with simple assault for slapping Mrs. Sherman in the face, to which she pleaded guilty.
While Mrs. McKee said she and her husband were on their way home to Wisconsin when the incident occurred, she refused to speak further about it.
"I am not talking to anyone about this," she said.
Mrs. McKee faces a $385 fine. Mr. McKee's possible sentence is unknown at this time because County Attorney Daisy Flores has not yet formally charged him. The Payson Justice Court said Flores will likely receive the paperwork and charges Monday, at which time he will likely be formally charged for some or all of the alleged crimes.
Mr. McKee was released on a $15,000 paper bond and Mrs. McKee was released on the condition that she make a court appearance at 1:30 p.m., July 2. They are both at their part-time home in Apache Junction, waiting to find out what Mr. McKee will be charged with. His preliminary court date is scheduled at noon, July 8.