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2 juveniles facing murder charges in fatal shooting at Rita Ranch shopping plaza

2 juveniles facing murder charges in fatal shooting at Rita Ranch shopping plaza

Tucson Police officers at the scene of a shooting in the parking lot in front of WingStreet and Pizza Hut on the northwest corner of S. Houghton Rd., and E Rita Rd., in Tucson, Ariz., on April 7, 2020.

Two juveniles are facing charges as adults of first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of an 18-year-old man outside a Rita Ranch shopping plaza in April, the Tucson Police Department said Friday.

Troy Hughes and James I. Schuermann, both 17, were arrested June 4, almost two months after the death of Tyler Thomas, 18, in what police now describe as a drug deal turned violent.

Hughes and Schuermann each face additional charges of armed robbery and aggravated robbery, TPD said in a news release.

It isn’t clear from the news release who owned the gun used in the killing and how it came to be in the hands of 17-year-olds. Gun ownership isn’t legal in Arizona until the age of 18.

TPD said at the time of the April 7 killing that the victim and suspects had “an ongoing feud” between them when they met up around 4:30 p.m. in the parking lot of a plaza at South Houghton Road and East Rita Road.

The parties met up for a drug deal and got into a vehicle together when “a struggle ensued,” and shots were fired inside the vehicle, police said.

Thomas was hit multiple times and was declared dead at the scene. Another participant received minor injuries.

The investigation is ongoing and more charges may follow, TPD said.

Contact reporter Carol Ann Alaimo at 573-4138 or On Twitter: @StarHigherEd

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