Two men are dead following an early morning shooting in an east Mesa neighborhood.
Police say Arizona State University student Tyler Webster, 18, called 911 around 1:15 a.m. Wednesday to say that he and a friend, 19-year-old Olek Wladyszewski, were shot by a Hispanic male in his 20s.
Officers found Wladyszewski dead in the driver’s seat of his Mitsubishi Eclipse in the Parkwood Ranch area near Southern Avenue and Signal Butte Road. Webster was taken to a local hospital and later died from his wounds.
Mesa detective Michael Melendez said in a statement the two men were sitting in the car parked on East Farmdale Avenue. He said the victims, who are both Mesa residents, did not live in the neighborhood and it wasn’t clear why they were there.
However, police don’t believe the shooting was random.
“We’ve still got a lot of investigating to do to find a motive,” Melendez said. “At this point, we don’t have any witnesses.”
According to a Mesa Unified School District spokeswoman, Webster is a 2010 graduate of Red Mountain High School in Mesa and Wladyszewski left Red Mountain in the fall of 2009 during his senior year.
Webster’s Facebook page listed him as studying biochemistry for pre-med at ASU and as a member of the Delta Chi Fraternity.
Another Facebook page, “Tyler Webster and Olek Wladyszewski R.I.P,” had been created, and as of Thursday it had 723 members and numerous postings from friends.
A neighorhood resident who lives close to where the shootings happened said Wednesday that Parkwood Ranch is a mostly quiet neighborhood, but activity usually increases in the evenings where groups gather to play basketball at the park across the street from where the shootings happened.
“We didn’t know the shootings had happened until we woke up and saw the police,” said Josh Casey, who has lived in the neighborhood for three months. I’m surprised that it happened here. There’s an elementary school just down the street.”
Autopsy reports are pending from the Maricopa County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Police still are conducting a search for the shooter. Anyone with information can call Mesa police at (480) 644-2211 or Silent Witness at (480) 948-6377.