19-Year-Old Arrested In Fatal Mesa Circle K Shooting

MESA – Isaiah Lee Armstrong, age 19, has been arrested for the shooting death of Sam Briscoe, age 33.

According to the Mesa Police Department:

On July 1, 2020, around 2 a.m., Mesa Police receive a 911 call of a shooting at the Circle K on the SW corner of Dobson and Guadalupe. Officers find the victim, Sam Briscoe, 33, in the driver’s seat of the car with several gunshot wounds. The victim is rushed to Banner Desert hospital but dies about 30 minutes later.

A front passenger in Briscoe’s car — a friend of the victim – witnesses the shooting and tells police the night before, Briscoe received several phone calls and text messages from the defendant, Isaiah Lee Armstrong, 19, asking Briscoe to pick him up from a Mesa house party. After Briscoe picks up Armstrong, they drive to the Circle K where Briscoe goes to buy the witness (friend) a drink.

After returning to the car, the witness says Armstrong talks to Briscoe and then hears a gunshot. Apparently, there was a struggle in the car right before the shooting. Armstrong was seen exiting the rear passenger’s side with something in his right hand and takes off running. Briscoe kicks at the witness to get out of the car. The witness runs into the Circle K and yells to the clerk there was a shooting. Another Circle K employee was outside of the store emptying trash when he hears gunshots and sees Armstrong running through the parking lot. Circle K surveillance video backs up the witness’ story.

After talking with the victim’s family, close friends and neighbors, officers discover Briscoe’s cross body fanny pack, wallet, U.S. currency and semiautomatic handgun are missing. After obtaining a search warrant, officers find two fired 9mm cartridges in the victim’s car and one outside the car.

Later that afternoon, Glendale Police respond to a call near 67th Avenue and Bethany Home Rd. about Armstrong barricading himself inside an apartment after confessing to his girlfriend that he “murdered” someone at a Circle K. The caller says the gun used in the shooting was in a car Armstrong was seen sitting in earlier. The address was at Armstrong’s girlfriend’s mom where he had recently been staying. Officers get a search warrant for the apartment and car and find a 9mm semiautomatic handgun under the driver’s seat of a car.

Clothing matching what Armstrong was wearing during the shooting was also found along with over $1,000 of U.S. currency, two debit cards, a cross body fanny pack and ID card belonging to the victim.

After a several hour standoff, Armstrong is arrested and charged with First Degree Murder and Armed Robbery.

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