Daniel Taylor, 18, Accused of Shooting Two People, Killing One, at Tempe Christmas Party

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An 18-year-old shot two people at a Christmas party in Tempe yesterday, killing one, after getting kicked out of the party twice, police say.

According to court documents obtained by New Times, Daniel Taylor was asked to leave the party because he wasn't invited, but returned wearing a clown mask, and opened fire at people standing on the patio of the apartment.

Jeff Ward, age 28, died from gunshot wounds, while a woman who was also shot was hospitalized, and treated for her injuries, according to Tempe Police Sergeant Michael Pooley. Her name was not released.

According to court documents, Taylor showed up to the party on Saturday night and introduced himself to people, and also gave out other personal information that police would later use to identify him as the shooter.

Taylor was asked to leave by someone who lived at the apartment, since the resident didn't know Taylor, and neither did anyone else at the party.

Some time later, Taylor changed his clothes, and showed up again at the party. Again, he was asked to leave, and again, he did.

According to the court documents Taylor returned wearing a clown mask, and was spotted hiding in bushes near the apartment, before approaching the patio and shooting at people early Sunday morning.

Police tracked down Taylor, and served a search warrant at an apartment in the same complex, near University Drive and Loop 101, where Taylor lives with his mother, according to court documents.

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According to a probable-cause statement, Taylor's matched the description of the shooter, and the clown mask was found at the apartment, too. Police also recovered a .22-caliber handgun, along with ammunition in the apartment and in Taylor's pants pocket that was the same size and brand as the casings found at the scene of the shooting.

Taylor was booked into jail on charges of first-degree murder, aggravated assault, discharging a firearm within city limits, and discharging a firearm at a residence.

This morning, a judge set Taylor's bond at $450,000.

Daniel Taylor
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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.

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@treanorj  Why don't you go fuck yourself. You don't know him like his family does. He could've been a super awesome child and fucked up just that one night. Imagine how his parents or his siblings must feel with their brother in prison for a long time. I know that Jeffs parents have it way worse. Losing your child would change you completely. But now Mr. Taylors parents know that their kid is in prison for a long time and they cant be there to help him,or hug him,or anything but letters and occasional phone calls. And the siblings were probably more attached to him and losing him,maybe at a young age can mentally hurt them.If he had a younger sister, and they happened to be super close,she would have to face the fact that hes not gonna be there during graduation or maybe even her wedding or her first kid. Some people don't understand the bonds between siblings, and the family itself. Im sorry for the family of Daniel Taylors, and Jeff Wards.


What a piece of shit. Enjoy rotting in prison, fuckhead.

eric.nelson745 topcommenter

So, did the cops also find copies of American Rifleman and Guns and Ammo in Mr Taylor's apartment?



It is apparent that you are a friend or family member of Daniel or the Taylors, and for that alone I am sorry. Sorry you know such a horrible, deranged individual who “just messed up one night.” HA! He messed up eternally! He took the life of someone who we love deeply and that act ripples far beyond what you can even imagine. If only this pain would last one night like poor Daniel’s mistake. But, please…let’s take the focus off him, because the important point here is the person he STOLE from us. Jeff Ward was pure, good, genuine, gentle, kind, intelligent. A listener. A peaceful soul, who wouldn’t have wished harm on anyone. Just being in his presence was food for the soul and silently healing. So, when you sit here and say “oh poor Taylors…they won’t get to see their son, blah blah blah” take a minute and think about the fact that his family will still get to write and receive letters to/from their son. They still get to see his face, and know that his heart beats, he take breaths, he sees the sun rise and set. It is ignorant for you to suggest that we should give sympathy to Daniel. He does not get sympathy. If he is blessed, he will eventually receive forgiveness….but that is it. I encourage you to take a moment and visit the memorial page we set up in Jeff’s honor so you can get a glimpse at what a beautiful person he was and how much he is missed, and what a loss this is for the world https://www.facebook.com/jeff.wawdy


Mr and Ms Taylor should BE THE ONES UP ON THE STAND FOR THEIR 18 year old fuck up of a child that is a cold blooded MURDERER. The lost memories that they have will never amount to the lost memories that Jeff Ward's friends and family will NEVER have, because Daniel Taylor TOOK his LIFE away from us. How could you possibly stand up for such a monster?

valleynative topcommenter


Take a class in statistics and critical thinking.   He may also have had milk in his refrigerator, but that doesn't imply any sort of causation or even correlation.

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