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Report details Snapchat messages between teens suspected of Gilbert violence after attack

GILBERT, AZ (AZFamily) — New police report allegedly shows social media messages between teenage suspects involved in brutal attack in Gilbert, nearly a year before Preston Lord was attacked outside a Halloween party in Queen Creek .

The attack took place on December 30, 2022, when 17-year-old Conor Jarnagan was “jumped” outside a Gilbert In-N-Out and beaten with brass knuckles. In the 911 call, Jarnagan said 10 to 12 people attacked him and his friend, but they were able to escape and drive to the parking lot of a nearby store. Court documents say they described the suspects as “teenage stoners with long, shaggy hair.”

According to police documents, the leader of the group told Jarnagan: “You have a very nice car; you must be rich. Give me $20. When he refuses, a fight breaks out. Jarnagan was punched in the back of the head and told officers it felt like “he was hit with a piece of metal,” documents state.

After the group finally broke up, Jarnagan said, “If I give you $20, will you leave us alone?” The suspects agreed and took the money before fleeing.

Documents claim that after the attack, the suspects bragged about the assault and discussed whether they should become an official gang and whether they should go on a “cop killing spree.” » in their Snapchat messages. The messages involve numerous conversations between several teenagers.

In the messages, a suspect writes: “The Gpd (Gilbert Police Department) is looking for me. He didn't fight back at all. I stole his wallet. Another part of the suspect's message reads: “I just beat his ass after he wouldn't let me steal his car.” I still have $20. The only thing I want to see is the world burn Lmao.

In a separate conversation, a suspect says, “Do you have extra knuckles? I'm trying to send these kids to the hospital.

The conversation then shifted to some of the suspects, stating, “Can we all please go on a police killing spree?” It's time to execute the plan. Suicide by cop is the real way to go.

Documents show the group talks about avoiding In-N-Out to avoid arousing suspicion. One of them said, “Bruh, we shouldn't be going in and out yet.” » Another then declares: “They are [police] still on patrol there. And as soon as they discover that it was us who participated in all the fights, we are accused of more than 30 attacks. Later, another suspect said: “I have to calm down in the face of the fighting, they are building a case. »

A Snapchat message shows one suspect telling others: “I think we need to become an official gang already.” » Police say the group also changed its group chat name to “The Streets.”

Gilbert police told Arizona's Family that the department received this information and messages in 2023. At that time, Gilbert police reported six cases of teen violence and made eight arrests.

“It's hard to imagine that investigators didn't connect the dots,” Katey McPherson said. “They were clearly violent, bragging about their violence and fearing arrest by the police.”

Gilbert police said in part that “the teens responsible for these specific statements have been thoroughly investigated and the Gilbert Police Department categorically disputes their assertion that they are linked to more than 30 reported assaults.”

Gilbert's full police statement is below:

“It was a pattern, I have several friends' sons who were attacked by the same group,” McPherson said. “I think this was avoidable. We have data between January 2023 and September/October 2023 indicating that several milestones were missed.

Ten months after the Jarnagan assault, Preston Lord was killed in a mob assault in Queen Creek, sparking pressure on Gilbert police to reopen and review past cases. Prior to Preston Lord's death, Gilbert PD made 13 arrests in teen violence cases from February 2022 until his death in October 2023.

Since January 2024, Gilbert police indicate on their dedicated website that there have been 26 additional arrests in cases of teen violence for a total of 41 arrests.

Arizona's family contacted the Jarnagan family and provided this statement: “We are disappointed and disturbed after reading the police report. This clearly shows that there were major red flags with this group of teenage thugs who continued to terrorize East Valley teenagers, even after we were able to prosecute one of them. We continue to hope that justice will be served in each case, and we look forward to the upcoming Arizona legislative session where we plan to once again pursue the ban on brass knuckles.

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