Mesa comic book store owner arrested in motel murder faces charges in earlier shooting

The owner of a Mesa comic book shop arrested in a fatal drug-related shooting in November is now facing charges in connection with another shooting incident three days earlier.

Anthony Wayne Gushee

Anthony Wayne Gushee, 44, was arrested late at night Nov. 11 at the address of Apache Comics & Toys, 9333 E. Apache Trail, after police responded to a shots-fired call at a Main Street motel earlier that day. Police found Aaron James Miller, 28, dead at the scene and an unidentified woman with life-threatening gunshot wounds that required surgery.

Mesa police said she survived her injuries and the case is still being actively investigated.

New shooting charges

According to police, Gushee was hit with more charges Nov. 15 on suspicion of aggravated assault with serious physical injury and aggravated assault with use of a deadly weapon, a handgun. These accusations stem from a Nov. 8 confrontation allegedly with a different man and woman on the 7600 block of East Gale Avenue in east Mesa in which a man was shot in the arm and upper body while speeding away in a pickup truck from two armed males.

The female passenger, the shooting victim’s girlfriend, identified one of the attackers as Gushee and told police she knew him as a heroin dealer who gets young females high and has sex with them. She also told police she and her boyfriend took some associates to Gushee’s house about 1 1/2 months earlier and that those people stole comic books and toys from the residence.

The man who was shot had injuries that were not life threatening, drove himself to a hospital after the incident and was later discharged, police said. He was arrested on an outstanding warrant Nov. 12 after consenting to a search of the truck, from which two bullets linked to the Nov. 8 shooting were recovered as part of the ongoing investigation. The truck’s rear window was shot out and there were also bullet holes in the front windshield, driver’s side rear door and front passenger’s side door.

Police said Gushee on Nov. 15, when being arrested on the new charges, recalled being in the area of the Nov. 8 shooting but denied either participating or owning a firearm. He has a history of drug-related offenses, including a prior felony conviction

Police said the Queen Creek resident made statements to his store’s co-owner that he would flee to Idaho to avoid extradition. A search of Gushee’s residence Nov. 14 found the home in the process of being sold, without power and extremely cluttered, but turned up no firearms.

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