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Five Men Slain; Police Suspect Drug-Related Execution

March 28, 1989

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) _ Drugs may have been involved in the slayings of five men whose bodies were found in a shed, police said.

The bodies were discovered Monday morning by the wife of one of the victims, said Sgt. Charles Armijo, head of the Police Department’s homicide unit.

″They appeared to have been executed,″ Armijo said. ″Drugs may have been involved in some way or other.″

The five, described by a neighbor as in their 20s and 30s, were killed ″within the last day,″ Armijo said, adding he couldn’t provide a precise time.

He said he wouldn’t disclose the victims’ names nor other details of their deaths pending further investigation.

A next-door neighbor said his wife told him she heard sounds like gunfire before noon Sunday.

The neighbor, who said he had thought there was drug-related activity at the residence because of heavy traffic, said his wife told him she had heard what ″could have been three (shots) or more.″

The owner of the property, Tien Chu, said the house had been rented within the past three or four months, and that one of the tenants said he was in the construction business. He said the tenants put a fence around the property about two months ago.

Another neighbor, Curtis Espinoza, said he frequently has seen police parked late at night, ″like narcs, staking something out,″ on a street across from where the victims were found.

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