Mesa comic shop owner charged with murder, aggravated assault

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Drug-related shooting in motel room leaves 1 dead, 1 wounded

Anthony Wayne Gushee

The owner of a Mesa comic book shop has been arrested in connection with the fatal shooting of a man and gunshot injuries to a woman.

Anthony Wayne Gushee, described by Mesa police as owner of Apache Comics & Toys at 9333 E. Apache Trail, was arrested there late at night on Monday, Nov. 11, after police responded to reports of shots fired earlier that day at a Main Street motel.

At the Windemere Hotel & Conference Center that afternoon, police found a man who had been shot and was pronounced dead at the scene and a woman with life-threatening gunshot wounds that required surgery.

The woman, who was sleeping when she was shot, told police a man named Tony shot her and her boyfriend because he thought they stole his drugs, according to the Mesa Police Department’s arrest report. Detectives found a crystal substance at the motel that a Nov. 12 police news release said “appeared to be methamphetamine packaged for sale” as well as syringes of liquid. The arrest report cites hotel records showing the defendant paid for the victims’ hotel room.

The man who died was identified as Aaron James Miller, 28. The woman has not been identified, and police did not know her condition on Thursday.

Police break down door at Apache Comics & Toys

Gushee, 44, was arrested later that day at the Apache Trail address. Mesa police Det. Nikolas Rasheta said members of the department’s violent offender unit observed the suspect entering the comic store, then surrounded it and made contact with him before midnight. As he was walking through the store with his hands up in response to police commands, the suspect passed in front of a glass door that was obscured by a poster, Rasheta said; police then fired flexible baton rounds from a bean-bag shotgun to break the glass, and the man fell to the ground and crawled to them in response to verbal police commands.

Gushee is charged with one count of second-degree murder and one count of aggravated assault. Police said the man has a history of drug-related offenses, including a prior felony conviction. According to the arrest report, the suspect told the police he prefers to go by “Tony” and has multiple personality disorders, but police said he could not give them details or specifics on the disorders.

Anthony Gushee, a resident of Queen Creek, is listed as the statutory agent of record and a principal member for Apache Comics LLC with the Arizona Corporation Commission.

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