Alyssa Leonard Killed in Suspected Road Rage Shooting in Phoenix

August 14, 2023

PHOENIX, AZ – Court documents shed more light on a deadly suspected road rage shooting last weekend. Police arrested 21-year-old Kwame Kyle Wilson in relation to the case. It happened at an apartment complex near 32nd Avenue and Vogel Avenue, which is north of Dunlap Avenue, on August 6, 2023. When officers arrived, they found 29-year-old Alyssa Leonard and her fiancé both shot. Leonard later died.

Arizona’s Family spoke with Leonard’s mother. Frieda Mendez was out of town following the recent arrest in her daughter’s case. She says it feels like a weight was lifted off her and she is ready for justice. “I miss my daughter. She was a good person, a very loving person, loving mother. It’s not fair her life was taken so soon,” said Mendez.

In 1998, Arizona became the first state in the United States to enact a law specifically targeting aggressive driving behaviors. This law makes it a criminal offense to engage in aggressive driving, which is defined as a combination of at least two of the following behaviors: speeding, unsafe lane changes, following too closely, failing to yield the right of way, and running red lights or stop signs.

Arizona’s aggressive driving law allows law enforcement to charge drivers with a Class 1 misdemeanor if they are found guilty of engaging in such behaviors. This means that road rage incidents can result in criminal charges beyond typical traffic violations.

According to the court documents following Wilson’s arrest, police checked surveillance video from around the scene. One video showed the victims in a car turning south in front of a red car driver who was speeding and ran a posted stop sign. Wilson was believed to be driving that car. It’s after this time witnesses reported Wilson followed the victims to their apartment before the shooting took place. When Wilson was taken into custody, police found a spent shell casing on the hood near the windshield wipers. After searching Wilson’s phone, detectives say they found a series of deleted messages to someone the day of the shooting. It reads in part, “What was I supposed to do? Let him get me first? Wait till he pulled out a gun?” Another reads, “I didn’t get out my car aggressive, they did.” A third read, “I’m pretty sure somebody died.”

Wilson was on release for armed robbery in a separate case at the time of the shooting. Leonard’s mother also gave Arizona’s Family an update on Leonard’s fiancé’s condition, who was recently released from the hospital. “He’s healing, he’s still injured but he’s healing. He misses Alyssa. He just keeps telling us he wants her back.”

Leonard leaves behind a 10-year-old daughter and her fiancé. Her family said they will be watching this case closely as the court hearings take place later this month.

We extend our condolences to the family and friends of Alyssa Leonard over this tragic loss. If you or someone you know has been victimized by road rage. Please contact us by calling 602-254-6071.

Source: 3TV/CBS 5