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Sheriff identifies suspect, victims in Wake Forest shooting

Posted March 25
Updated March 29

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— Authorities said three people—one male and two females—were killed in a shooting at 5907 Clearsprings Drive in Wake Forest around 6 p.m. on Friday.

Police said Jon Sander, 52, of 5917 Clearsprings Drive, was taken into custody and charged with murder.

"The suspect went back to his house and that's the reason we started evacuating," said Wake County Sheriff, Donnie Harrison said "He did not come out to start with."

The sheriff's office identified the victims as Elaine Toby Mazzella, 76, of Raleigh, Sandy Mazzella, 47, of Wake Forest, and Stephanie Ann Mazzella, 43, of Wake Forest.

Sandy Mazzella was the president of Advanced Mowing and Landscaping Inc., and he was business partners with Sander.

Officials said Stephanie Mazzella was an ICU nurse at WakeMed. A hospital spokeswoman said Mazzella began working at WakeMed in 2008.

The shooting may have stemmed from an earlier dispute between the neighbors, officials said. Deputies responded to the homes of the two parties around 9 a.m. on Friday.

Sander was previously charged with communicating threats toward the Mazzellas in February. The 52-year-old threatened to "put them in a box," according to arrest warrants. Sander was due in court April 1 for the charges last month.

According to court documents, Sandy Mazzella was charged with misdemeanor stalking on March 3, with an offense date of Feb. 27; the complaint was filed by Lori Botti, president of Advance Patio and Landscape Inc. Stephanie Mazzella was the vice president of the company.

Botti and Sander were also co-plantiffs in a case suing Sandy Mazzella for "money owed," totaling less than $10,000 on March 2, according to court documents.

​"There were two law enforcement officer vehicles in the driveway, and you notice it because you don't see that much around here," said neighbor Anthony Horne. "This is a really quiet neighborhood, people keep to themselves."

No details were released on how the Friday morning dispute was resolved.

"It sounds like it has been an ongoing feud between the neighbors for a while," Harrison said.

No additional information has been released. Officials said an investigation is ongoing.


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  • Josha Barton Mar 27, 2016
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    This is horrible. I wonder what was so important that they argued for months, the suspect had communicated threats charges filed against him that should have been taken more seriously. What then it lead to murder? This is definitely going to be on When Neighbors kill show on investigation discovery

  • Robert George Mar 26, 2016
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    Looks like they are business partners, advanced landscaping

  • Doug Bradley Mar 26, 2016
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    I don't really like judging people but look at Sander's facebook page. It screams dbag. I feel sorry for his young children and the victims though.

  • Hubert Lee Dawson Mar 26, 2016
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    Yes, I see what you mean now. Need more coffee.

  • Merideth Page Mar 26, 2016
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    View quoted thread

    I read that to mean after he went back into his house, it appeared he may not come out, but then he did come out and surrender to police.

  • Hubert Lee Dawson Mar 26, 2016
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    [quote]"The suspect went back to his house and that's the reason we started evacuating," said Wake County Sheriff, Donnie Harrison said "He did not come out to start with."

    Wait! Either he came out and went back in OR he "did not come out to start with". Which is it?