Surprise police release more details involving recent double homicide
Surprise, AZ (February 23, 2016) On February 9, 2016, the Surprise Police received a request to conduct a welfare check at a residence located in the 15500 block of West Agua Linda Lane. The caller reported a relative, Ms. Ruth Schwed, had come to Arizona from New Mexico to visit her friend, Ms. Barbara Leslie. The caller reported the address in question was the home of Ms. Leslie. The caller also indicated they had not been able to get ahold of Ms. Schwed or Ms. Leslie since 2/7/2016 and also indicated there were approximately $23,000 worth of charges to Ms. Schwed’s debit card.
Upon arrival officers were able to see into the home and saw two female subjects lying on the floor. The officers were able to force entry into the home. Once inside they located Ms. Schwed and Ms. Leslie, both deceased. Additionally, officers observed expended shell casings from a firearm near the victims. One of the victims appeared to have fallen from a chair and was on top of a newspaper dated February 8, 2016.
Investigators subsequently executed a search warrant on the home. While processing the scene a cellular phone was located on the floor inside the residence. Several warrants were executed on this cellular phone to extract data. It was determined the phone did not belong to either of the victims. Additionally, phone records and call logs from the cellular phone provided investigators with several persons of interest. Phone records for one of the persons of interest indicated his cellular phone had been in area at the time when investigators believe the homicide occurred.
As a result of the phone records investigators were able to contact an individual who had stated a male subject named Andrew Lauro had contacted him on February 8th, 2016 around noon and told him he had just been involved in a robbery where another subject had shot two women.
On February 19, 2016, Andrew Lauro was subsequently located and taken into custody without incident. During an interview Andrew Lauro made statements regarding his involvement in this incident. Lauro stated on the morning of February 8, 2016, he was picked up by Montez Wright III and a female subject. The three subsequently drove to Sun City Grand and drove around for a while and finally stopped in front of a home that had an open garage door.
Lauro stated he and Montez Wright III exited their vehicle and walked into the home. According to Lauro, right before they entered the home Montez Wright III pulled out a handgun. Lauro continued by stating once they entered the home he saw a female subject sitting in a chair reading a newspaper. The second female subject had come out of the living room. Lauro stated Montez Wright III then shot both female subjects. Lauro stated he exited the home and fled on foot, however, he was picked up a short time later by Montez Wright III who was driving the victim’s vehicle.
The two drove away and subsequently met up with the female subject and he subsequently left the area in the vehicle with the female subject while Montez Wright III remained in control of the victim’s vehicle. Lauro also added that both he and Montez Wright III were wearing gloves during this incident.
Andrew Lauro was booked into the Maricopa County Jail on several charges; including 2 counts of First Degree Murder. Additionally, Montez Wright III is being held in the Oakland County Jail in Michigan, pending extradition to Arizona. Montez Wright is also facing several criminal charges; including 2 counts of First Degree Murder. The known female subject is not currently in custody and the investigation into her involvement is ongoing.
No clear connection has been established between this incident and the armed robbery incident which occurred on January 7th, 2016. However, investigators are continuing to evaluate the evidence and facts of both incidents and if any link between the two is discovered it will be thoroughly investigated.
While two arrests have been made, this is an active on-going investigation and any details not included in this statement are not currently available for release.