On Thursday, May 22nd, 2014 John Wayne Brazel was in Pinal County and on the run for a homicide he allegedly committed on Tuesday, May 20th, 2014 in the city of Tempe.
On May 22nd at 12:00 p.m. Brazel stole a 2004 Dodge dually pickup truck, from the 26000 block of North Mitchell Trail, outside the town limits of Florence. Law enforcement members from various agencies searched the area but were unable to locate him or the vehicle. The vehicle was entered into both the Arizona Crime Information Center (ACIC) database and the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database as stolen and listed John Brazel as being armed and extremely dangerous.
On Friday, May 23rd, 2014 at 1:44 a.m. the Marana Police Department reported they were in pursuit of the stolen 2004 Dodge dually and requested assistance from the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office. They further reported the pursuit was westbound on Interstate 10 and the vehicle was traveling in excess of 110 miles per hour. The Arizona Department of Public Safety and the Eloy Police Department assisted in the pursuit. Brazel eventually left Interstate 10 and traveled north on Highway 87 where law enforcement personnel lost visual contact with him.
A short time later two security guards reported Brazel and the stolen Dodge Dually were at the Salt River Project (SRP) electrical plant in the 800 block of South Eleven Mile Corner Road, in the unincorporated area of Pinal County between the cities of Casa Grande and Eloy.
When deputies arrived on scene, they saw Brazel standing near the driver’s door of the stolen vehicle, and it appeared he was talking on a telephone. Brazel refused verbal commands given by deputies, as he entered the driver’s compartment of the vehicle. Deputies then heard a single gunshot from within the vehicle.
Deputies later confirmed Brazel sustained a self inflicted gunshot wound to his head. He was taken by helicopter to a Phoenix area hospital where he was pronounced deceased at 4:07 a.m.
Sheriff Paul Babeu stated, “John Brazel murdered his ex-girlfriend and attempted to murder the good samaritan who attempted to intervene on her behalf. Often these type of domestic violence homicides end with the perpetrator committing suicide by their own hand or by forcing a suicide by cop. The processing of the crime scene was greatly expedited with the collaborative efforts of the Tempe Police Department and our agency.”