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Mesa smoke shop owner shot and killed in robbery

Sandra Haros/KTAR

MESA, Ariz. -- There was another shooting in Mesa in less than 24 hours. This time it happened at a smoke shop near Extension and University Drive.

Police said a man shot and killed the shop owner before robbing him of several tobacco products.

William Kotzakevitch, who was a neighbor of the victim, was clearly shaken up by the shooting.

"He was a good guy," Kotzakevitch said. "He helped out people in the neighborhood when they needed help. If you are short on money, he would help you out with cigarettes or whatever you needed over there."

Neighboring businesses called police after hearing a commotion inside the store earlier Friday afternoon. When police got here, they were able to detain a guy seen leaving this smoke shop, carrying a box full of cigarettes.

Police found the victim dead inside with obvious trauma to the body.

Authorities arrested the suspect at an apartment nearby but have not released any names in this case.

Yesterday, a man opened fire at a Vietnamese restaurant near Extension and Southern Avenue, killing one person and injuring another before killing himself.

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About the Author


Sandra moved from the small border city of Yuma, Arizona to study Broadcast Journalism at Arizona State University in the late 90s. Since graduating, she's worked at several local TV stations including Univision, Fox 10 and 3TV.

Working at KTAR, has allowed her the opportunity to cover major national news events, including Presidential visits, the Tucson Tragedy and the Wallow fire.

When Sandra isn't covering breaking news or behind a microphone in the studio, she's probably at home with her best friend Mark and her two dogs, Lily and Lola.

Sandra enjoys cooking and admits to enjoying "really bad" reality T.V. She also enjoys spending quiet time at home with people she loves, playing a little poker and traveling.

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