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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : latest news : local September 14, 2014


2/16/2012 2:27:00 PM
Cottonwood domestic violence & gunfire brings out SWAT team
Joshua Vancza
Joshua Vancza

Jon Hutchinson
Staff Reporter


COTTONWOOD - There was something of a scare for Mingus Union High School and the surrounding neighborhood Wednesday when the Cottonwood SWAT team converged on a home south of the school grounds.

Police were alerted by an out-of-state homeowner. He told the Sheriff's Office that his 23-year-old daughter was in danger of her armed boyfriend at the house in the 1500 block of Sierra Drive.

Joshua Vancza, 29, of Cottonwood, had arrived at the woman's house that morning, grabbed a gun, brandished it around her and threatened suicide.

The girl was able to walk out of the house and heard a gunshot from the back yard and called her father, who then called police.

She advise police Vancza was former military and there were numerous guns in the house including assault rifles.

Cottonwood police and sheriff's deputies arrived and met with the woman. They determined 29-year-old Joshua was the only one in the house and had access to weapons.

The officers created a perimeter around the house and with the SWAT team, to provide a response in case he should emerge from the house with weapons.

The high school to the north was also alerted to go into "lock down" because the school is so close to the house.

As teams were setting up, Vancza walked out of the house, unarmed, and was arrested before noon. The firearm was found inside the home and a bullet casing recovered.

Mingus Union H.S. was notified that the situation was resolved and was released from lock down shortly after.

Vancza was charged with recklessly discharging a weapon and endangerment per domestic violence. No was hurt during the incident.

Taylor Waste

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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, June 6, 2013
Article comment by: Jessi Shepard

First!!! He is not from cottonwood he is from Plymouth Indiana and I have known him for awhile him and his friends decided they would take off to Arizona and try to live off the land and Loki aka josh ended up meeting a girl you guys got this all wrong he is not a bad guy he needs help. And a veteran haha ok lol

Posted: Friday, February 24, 2012
Article comment by: nutso fasst

The article says that his girlfriend says that this guy is "former military." Assuming he really is a vet, what does that mean? Most military personnel are in support jobs even when they're in a combat zone, and everyone who sees combat does not automatically become deranged. I understand there are a lot of vets who need help, but don't assume military service justifies being a jerk.


Posted: Friday, February 24, 2012
Article comment by: Slater Slater

Wanted to die? Go'es to war,comes home gets
into it with his girl and releases a round into the ground.
Bad boy,can't do that near a school.Must have a criminal record as long as your arm.No school
near,discharging a weapon in city limits.If he
wanted to kill anyone he would have.
In war you get mad you might fire a weapon in
the air (no problem).I've seen vets dive in the middle of the pavement because a car backfired.
This kid deserves a second chance?,no way
string him up in the town square.We have to set
an example.They have great doctors in prison
don't they.Drug him up and put him in a padded
cell.That always works.Park swat team humvies at schools,better than being parked elsewhere.What if What if What if?


Posted: Friday, February 24, 2012
Article comment by: Seriously Michael May?

To Michael May,

They shot and killed a person because that person was armed with two guns and refused to listen to commands that were given multiple times. Other efforts did not work. May I remind you that it was opening day of little league not far from this dangerous person who by the way, wanted to die. My children were there and I am so thankful for Cottonwood PD doing what they did. The officer is a long-time veteran and did what he had to do. That situation was as textbook as it gets, no power trip. No worries, one day you may need them and they will be there, even for the ungrateful.


Posted: Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Article comment by: Michael May

The fact of the matter here is that this veteran of our US Military will most likely be charged with a felony and convicted, which will in turn ruin any prospect the guy has or had at ever obtaining a good job.

The Cottonwood Police department and YCSO are both departments on a power trip. The citizens of this town that fail to realize that are blind. I've personally watched them shoot and kill and elderly person and get away with it. Quite frankly I my fear is not of people who attempt to commit a crime as I can defend myself pretty well. It's these "officers of the law" who are creating more problems than they solve.


Posted: Saturday, February 18, 2012
Article comment by: Slater Slater

When Veterans come home it's a different
kind of reality.They don't get over it and
shouldn't be expected to.
Most get on with their life's others have issues.
Vietnam Vets had a saying(I'm going back to the World).Wonder where they were for a year
or two? You'll never know unless you've been
there cause they won't tell you.It's a band of
brothers thing.
Follow up on this kid,he's worth the effort.


Posted: Saturday, February 18, 2012
Article comment by: Cottonwood Police have a full arsenal!

Cottonwood Police, serving in a town of less than 12,000 people, have an impressive array of equipment. They have an amoured vehicle, a SWAT team, air scenting marijuana busting dogs and 3 Military Humvees....very well equipped for the Fear the Fear mentality.

Posted: Saturday, February 18, 2012
Article comment by:

Yes, Cottonwood has a SWAT team. Everyone pokes fun but I'm sure if it was your family member in a bad situation, anyone would be glad to have them.

Posted: Friday, February 17, 2012
Article comment by: HEY JOHN !

COTTONWOOD SWAT TEAM, DO THEY EVEN HAVE ONE??? I THINK YOU MEAN YCSO SWAT TEAM, I SAW 20 YCSO CARS GOING LIGHTS AND SIRENS PAST ME ON 260. FOX 10 SAID YCSO SWAT TEAM.

Posted: Thursday, February 16, 2012
Article comment by: Greg Hartz

it is plain to see we have a troubled Veteran in Cottonwood and I hope he is offered the resources he so desperately needs, rather than facing Jail!!!



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