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3 suspected in home invasion charged with 4th suspect’s slaying

Tucson police have arrested three men they suspect were involved in a home invasion Dec. 9, 2007 at the residence of a Border Patrol agent, Tucson police said in a news release Tuesday.

Tucson police Sgt. Fabian Pacheco said in a news release that four men broke into the home of the Border Patrol agent and fired a gun at him. The agent returned fire and the four men fled.

The body of one of the suspects, Christian Gomez, 20, was found in a desert area about five hours after the incident. He was shot to death, Pacheco said.

His three alleged accomplices are facing first-degree murder charges in his death.

Gerson A. Montes, 19, was charged on March 11 with first-degree murder, first-degree burglary and armed robbery. He is in the Pima County Jail on $250,000 bail.

Mark A. Escobar Jr., 20, is being held on $500,000 bail and Michael A. Lopez, 20, is being held on $1 million bail. Lopez was arrested March 12. Pacheco did not say when Escobar was arrested.

All three were charged under a law that allows a person suspected in a felony to be charged with murder if someone dies during the commission of certain felonies, such as armed robbery.

Several hours after the shooting, the vehicle police said they believe was used by the suspects in their getaway was found burning near Campbell Avenue and Drexel Road. Pacheco said investigators believe Escobar was the driver the vehicle.

Police then found Gomez’s body in a desert area south of Irvington Road and First Avenue.

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