Maricopa County medical examiner report shows constables shot Marcus Mungeam
A report released last week from the Maricopa County Medical Examiner’s Office proves that one of the constables involved in evicting Marcus Mungeam from his home in June ended up shooting him in the neck.
Though they initially said the victim shot himself in the head, the office’s report points to a glaring omission: that they also shot him.
It’s still unclear which bullet killed Mungeam, a 33-year-old man living in an Arcadia apartment complex, according to the medical examiner’s report.
In June of last year, Mungeam had been served eviction papers at his Arcadia home by three constables: Douglas Clark, Steve Perkins and Carolyn Lane. State law says that constables are only to be used during the eviction process. If tenants remain on-site afterwards, police are supposed to be called in.
But Clark and Perkins returned four days later and broke in through the back glass door of Mungeam’s apartment. According to investigation documents leaked to The Republic, Clark said they should not have entered the apartment, but did anyway, which is when Mungeam shot off his first round.
The two constables later told investigators that Mungeam, alone, shot himself in the head as they turned a corner to confront him.
But the county medical records tell a slightly different story, primarily that Marcus was also shot by the constables.
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Photos taken from private investigators and friends, as well as investigatory documents, reveal that at least one of the constables shot off multiple rounds, but no one admitted to any of the bullets hitting Mungeam.
The examiner’s report, released Wednesday, said that Mungeam was shot in the neck once and also in the head. The report says that the gunshot wounds were from two different guns, one from a constable and another from Mungeam.
It doesn’t say which gunshot wound entered the body first. It does say, though, that the shot in the head was not a direct shot to the temple, but at an angle going into the temple and out through the top of Mungeam’s skull.
Originally, the medical examiner deemed Mungeam’s death a homicide. That later changed.
“Due to the potentially fatal injuries of both gunshot wounds, the manner of death is most appropriately deemed undetermined,” wrote Caroline Cross, the county medical examiner, in the report.
The examiner’s report also doesn’t mention which constable shot their weapon, but records obtained by The Republic show that Perkins went through a mental evaluation in August, as well as a new firearms training, before going back on the job.
Clark, however, almost immediately went back to work without clearance from a mental health professional, as required by rules created by the Constable Ethics, Standards and Training Board.
Since the shooting, Lane retired from her position as the Arcadia Justice Precinct Constable, and Clark submitted his resignation after the board almost unanimously asked him to while putting him on a 30-day probation.
The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office has assigned the case to the major crimes unit, according to a source inside of the department, but it’s not clear if charges will be referred over to the Maricopa County Attorney’s office.
The ethics board overseeing state constables also has two investigations pending into Clark — Mungeam’s death, as well as another use-of-force case in which he pulled his weapon and held a tenant at gunpoint during an eviction. At their last board meeting, it was unclear whether they will refer their investigations to the attorney’s office.
As of last week, Jennifer Liewer, spokesperson for the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, said they have not received any referrals regarding either incident. That means neither Clark nor Perkins have been charged with any crime.
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