On Friday, January 20, 2023 at approximately 9:24 a.m., Chandler police were dispatched to a call for service of shots fired in the area of the Arizona Avenue and Fairview Street in Chandler.
When officers arrived on the scene, they saw a homeless woman in her 30s, identified as Jessica Luz, with several gunshot wounds. Luz was transported to a local hospital, where she passed away from her injuries. Investigators determined that Luz was a transient known to frequent the area.
The suspect, 41-year-old James A. Taylor, was upset because his dogs were barking at Luz in the alley. Detectives determined that Taylor yelled at Luz to get out of the alley and Luz refused to leave. Taylor retrieved a firearm from his residence, return to the alley and again told Luz to leave threatening to shoot her. But she refused and Taylor shot her multiple times.
After the victim was shot, witnesses describe the suspect to be a white male wearing glasses in a vertical black and white striped shirt and gray hoodie. A male matching the description was seen by police walking away from the area where the victim was located and entering the backyard of a nearby residence.
Taylor surrendered and was taken into custody without further incident. Subsequently, in post Miranda Interview Taylor admitted to shooting Luz. Taylor was booked into jail on one count of first-degree murder and possession of a weapon by a prohibited perhaps possessor.