• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

Fatal AZ shooting leaves neighbors reeling

August 30, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
A restraining order was not enough to keep an Arizona man from fatally shooting his ex-girlfriend, her new boyfriend and three others.The shooting took place in a western Arizona home during a birthday party. The gunman's former girlfriend, Deborah Langstaff, and friends were celebrating her new boyfriend's birthday.

Police in Lake Havasu City said Brian Diez entered Langstaff's home on Saturday and opened fire. Authorities received an emergency call around midnight from a woman who said an intruder had shot several people.

Police arrived to a gruesome scene. Four people had been shot to death:

  • Langstaff, 23.
  • Primo Verdone, 24.
  • Russell Nyland, 42.
  • Ashley Nyland, 20.

Langstaff's boyfriend, 20-year-old Brock Kelson, and Deborah Nyland, 44, were transported to hospitals. Kelson succumbed to his injuries. Nyland remains hospitalized.

"I guess they broke up," said Lake Havasu neighbor Keith Hoppman. "She had another boyfriend, and I guess he showed up to take them all out while they were partying."

According to authorities, Diez then took his two children, a 4-year-old and a 13-month-old, to his sister's house in Rancho Cucamonga.

Neighbors in Rancho Cucamonga said they remember seeing Diez on visits.

"Every once in a while, he would stop by for a weekend or to hang out with his sister, and I knew he had a child same age as our daughter," said neighbor Nathan Stump."I didn't know Brian too well, but Darrel and Julie are very good people. We are happy to have them as neighbors for so long."

Lake Havasu police traced Diez's car to his sister's home on the 11900 block of Rue Way, but Diez shot himself before authorities could be dispatched.

The two children were found inside the home and were unharmed. Authorities said Diez's two children are safe and in the custody of family members.

"I had no idea," said Rojean Marshall, another neighbor. "I didn't know they had relation in the Havasu area, and I didn't know there was anything going on like that. My heart goes out to them."

Langstaff had taken a restraining order against Diez earlier this year that prohibited him from seeing her or the children after Diez was accused of slapping their infant son. However, Diez violated the order Aug. 13 when he approached Langstaff and talked to her.

"I don't understand why someone would want to take so many people out," said Sharon Dupont, the victim's friend. "Coward. He's a coward."

Authorities said Diez did not make any threats during the encounter.

An autopsy will be conducted on Diez sometime this week.

Two county workers showed up at the home Monday afternoon. The families of both Diez and Langstaff are cooperating.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


Load Comments