An Arizona home invasion allegedly orchestrated by Mexican citizens wearing tactical gear sparked fears that members of the Mexican military were involved in a wave of violent crime in the Phoenix area, according to local reports.
Police followed the sound of gunshots early Monday morning to the home of 30-year-old Andrew Williams, whose bullet-riddled body was found inside, the Arizona Republic reported. Officers then pursued a report of a suspicious Chevrolet Tahoe in the vehicle and arrested three suspects, all wearing body armor and carrying assault-style rifles.
A statement by one of the suspects that he had received prior military training fueled speculation into the fact that they were members of the Mexican military. Phoenix police said Wednesday that none of them were active members.
However, in a radio interview this week, Phoenix Law Enforcement Association President Mark Spencer said the men involved were hired by drug cartels to carry out home invasions and assassinations.
Spencer added that one of the suspects said they were prepared to ambush officers, but ran out of ammunition.
Cops believe three more suspects are still at large.
"We have seen an increasing amount of these type of violent crimes in the past five months," Phoenix Police Sgt. Joel Tranter told the Arizona Republic. "We want the public to realize that these types of crimes will not be tolerated in Phoenix."