Woman arrested in fatal home invasion linked to 'Minuteman' group (Updated)

Shawna Forde founder of Minutemen American Defense
2009-06-12T00:00:00Z Woman arrested in fatal home invasion linked to 'Minuteman' group (Updated)By Jamar Younger ARIZONA DAILY STAR Arizona Daily Star
June 12, 2009 12:00 am  • 

Pima County Sheriff’s detectives have arrested three people in connection with the home invasion and shooting in Arivaca last month that killed a father and his daughter, authorities said.

One of those arrested, Shawna Forde is the leader of Minutemen American Defense, a group out of Washington state that conducts operations along the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona.

Authorities also arrested Jason Eugene Bush, 34, and Albert Robert Gaxiola, 42, in connection with the shooting deaths of Raul Flores and his 9-year-old daughter Brisenia Flores, according to a sheriff’s department news release.

The three are charged with two counts of first degree murder, one count of fist degree burglary, and one count of aggravated assault.

Several men and a woman claiming to be police officers forced their way into the home in the middle of the night May 30, killing the pair. The girl’s mother was wounded, and investigators believe she returned fire.

Detectives believe the three suspects targeted the house with the intention of stealing money and drugs, the news release stated.

Forde is a former leader with the Minutemen Civil Defense Corps., but she did not remain with the group for long, said Al Garza, vice president of the Minutemen Civil Defense Corps.

The Minutemen American Defense group is not associated with the Minutemen Civil Defense Corp., Garza said.

Forde was a leader with the Civil Defense Corp. around 2005, but was dismissed after a few months because of leadership issues, he said.

Garza did not have a working relationship with Forde, but he met her when she came to Arizona in 2005, he said.

“She showed signs of poor leadership, but I didn’t see any wrongdoing,” he said.

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