More details emerge about Avondale shooting rampage that killed beloved barber




  • In US
  • 2022-11-24 00:37:36Z
  • By AZCentral | The Arizona Republic
Phoenix police.
Phoenix police.  

The suspect charged with shooting at vehicles and causing several collisions in Avondale on Saturday, which resulted in the death of a beloved Avondale barber confessed to his crimes, according to court documents.

Raymond Earl Pipkin, 29, was arrested by police on Saturday after a shooting rampage in Avondale that killed 34-year-old Glendale resident Gabriel Sotello and injured five others, including a 14-year-old boy.

Court documents said that the rampage began around 12:30 p.m. at the intersection of North 107th Avenue and West McDowell Road. That's where a man driving a black 2015 Honda Acura told police that he felt another driver in a Ford Focus staring at him while stopped at the traffic light.

He asked the driver of the Focus, which was Pipkin, if they were "good," according to arrest documents, which added that Pipkin responded by saying, "We are now," before shooting at the man's car.

The Acura driver tried to drive away but was followed by Pipkin, and he collided with another vehicle at the intersection of North Avondale Boulevard and West McDowell Road. Arrest documents say he got out of the Acura and ran toward a dirt field while hearing gunshots behind him. He was not injured in the shooting.

Arrest documents say that Pipkin then pulled up to a black Dodge Charger at the intersection and fired into it, killing Sotello and critically injuring a 14-year-old boy in the passenger seat.

Pipkin then traveled north on North Avondale Boulevard where he struck a motorcyclist head-on near West Encanto Boulevard, according to arrest documents. Pipkin then got out of his Focus and punched the motorcyclist in the face before fleeing on foot. Avondale police said the motorcyclist was in stable condition.

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Before he was taken into custody, Pipkin had also approached a transient man while inside his car near Interstate 10 and North Avondale Boulevard. Arrest documents say that Pipkin asked the man if he was ready to die before he shot him several times. The man was taken to the Abrazo West Campus and was in stable condition as of Wednesday.

Police said in court documents that Pipkin had also fired at a Tesla near the area of Interstate 10 and West Fairway Drive, causing around $5,000 in damages to the vehicle. The driver and passenger were uninjured, and the driver told police that his vehicle's onboard camera recorded the incident, which police seized as evidence in the investigation.

Pipkin was taken into custody near North 114th Avenue and West Cambridge Avenue after an Avondale officer chased him on foot, arrest documents say. Avondale police said they recovered a semi-automatic handgun from his vehicle.

After being taken into custody, officers reported that Pipkin made utterances like, "I've killed people today," "We're all going to hell," and "Jesus is coming," the documents say.

Court documents say that Pipkin identified himself as Jesus Christ when he was booked into the Avondale Detention Facility, and after being read his rights, admitted to the shootings and acknowledged that his actions caused the death of another man. The documents say that when officers asked Pipkin what he would say to the family of the man he killed, he said he takes full responsibility and accountability for his actions.

Sotello, also known as "YoungAz Barber," was a well-known and beloved barber in Arizona with over 24,000 Instagram followers. Comments bearing condolences and expressions of appreciation flooded Sotello's account after his death. One Instagram user commented, "Still can't believe you're gone bro. Thank you for your friendship. All the talks we had. 10+ years worth of amazing haircuts. Rest easy, brother."

A GoFundMe to support his family, organized by Albani Villela, had raised over $49,000 of its $55,000 goal by Wednesday afternoon.

A funeral service will be held for Gabriel Sotello at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 1, at Radiant Church in Surprise. Expressions of sympathy may be shared for the Sotello family at www.westresthavenfuneralhome.com

Pipkin was booked into Fourth Avenue Jail on multiple charges, including first-degree murder, hit and run and aggravated assault on a minor. He is due in court on Nov. 30.

This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Details emerge in Avondale shooting rampage that killed beloved barber

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