It has been five years since the shooting of 25-year-old Zachary Rowe, a resident of Chandler and former student of ASU.
No suspects had been arrested in connection with the killing.
That changed Jan. 29, when members of the Chandler Police Criminal Apprehension Unit and U.S. Marshals arrested two suspects in connection with the 2008 shooting of Rowe.
The two suspects, identified by police as 29-year-old Rory Gene Coriell and 27-year-old William Hayden Crawford, are both convicted felons and have spent the past five years in and out of prison on drug-related and robbery convictions, police said.
On the night of the incident, Rowe was the victim of a home-invasion robbery gone wrong on the 1200 block of West Gail Drive in Chandler. During the robbery, Rowe was fatally shot in the back of the head by his attackers. When police did not respond to the initial shooting, the attackers returned to Rowe’s home and set the house ablaze.
Chandler Police spokesman Sgt. Joe Favazzo said investigators discovered Rowe had actually been murdered and had not died in a house fire, after sifting through the remains.
“It became apparent that the suspects and Rowe engaged in a shootout when shell casings were found from two separate guns,” he said. “Investigators determined that Rowe was killed in the shootout and the fire was set to conceal the evidence of the murder.”
In spite of the fire, police managed to find drugs, weapons and drug paraphernalia in the home, signs of motive for the murder, Favazzo said.
In the five years since the slaying, Chandler Police have continued to investigate. After recreating the crime scene and reviewing several witness reports, police felt they had more than enough evidence to arrest the two suspects and coordinated with U.S. Marshals to track down Coriell and Crawford, Favazzo said.
During his time at ASU, Rowe studied criminology and law.
ASU spokeswoman Julie Newberg said in an email that the University is thankful the arrests have been made.
“Our thoughts are with Zachary’s family and friends at this time,” she said.
Coriell and Crawford were booked into a Maricopa County Jail on one count of first-degree murder, police said.
The Chandler Police website reports that the investigation is ongoing at this time.
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