Two fatal shooting incidents in Fountain Hills last week prompted Mayor Ginny Dickey to issue a statement on Friday, July 12, in an effort to calm some nervous residents.
“This week the Town of Fountain Hills was unfortunate to have experienced two separate, unrelated shooting incidents that resulted in the deaths of two people,” Dickey said. “On Monday, an out-of-town relative committed suicide after an altercation with the family he was visiting. [Thursday, July 11] a man was shot and killed after getting into a fight in the parking lot of Bruno’s bar with another patron.”
It took MCSO several days to confirm a shooting on Monday, July 8, outside a home in the 15200 block of Blackbird Drive was a suicide.
On Friday, July 12, 28-year-old Matthew Dylan Gilmore died at the hospital after he was shot during a fight outside Bruno’s Sports Bar on Parkview Ave. late Thursday.
Maricopa County Sheriff’s detectives reported that two men got into a physical altercation inside Bruno’s Sports Bar but were outside when one of the men took out a handgun and fired several shots, one of them striking the second man.
The suspect has been identified as 25-year-old Christopher Charles Ruether of Fountain Hills. He was taken into custody soon after the incident. Ruether was booked into jail in Phoenix on one count of manslaughter and one count of discharging a firearm in city limits.
Emergency responders were called at about 11:30 p.m. Thursday. The victim was given CPR by bystanders until firefighters arrived. The man was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries where he later died.
The first incident on Monday, July 8, occurred around 6 p.m. at a residence on Blackbird Drive. MCSO confirmed Friday morning that the man died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He has not been identified.
“We are very sorry for those involved in these firearm incidents in Fountain Hills,” Dickey said. “As much as some would like to have all the information immediately, please be patient as there are ongoing investigations and also family privacy issues to be respected. Things are not always as they seem, and speculation can be hurtful.
“Please rest assured that if there was any existing danger, or if the public's assistance would be helpful, our law enforcement professionals would keep us well-informed. This was the case and will be going forward…The safety of our community is our top priority.”