Thomas S. Piazza, 39, was sitting in a booth at the Chick-fil-A restaurant at 4585 N. Oracle Road about 6:45 a.m. when a man walked up to the table, pulled out a handgun and shot Piazza in the head, said Sgt. Fabian Pacheco, a Tucson Police Department spokesman.
The shooter -- who is described as being a stocky white man between the ages of 40 and 50, wearing a bike helmet, dark shorts and a dark windbreaker -- walked out of the restaurant and rode away on his bicycle, heading westbound on West Auto Mall Drive, Pacheco said.
"There was no provocation, no exchange of words, nothing," Pacheco said in explaining the incident.
Police continue to search for the gunman.
Piazza, a 1993 University of Arizona graduate, was married with four children.
Police believe the killing may be related to Piazza's role in a mortgage fraud ring that ripped off not only lenders but also small investors. One of the small investors may have been out for some Arizona justice.
The Arizona Attorney General's Facebook page explains the scam in an post from July 2009:
The lawsuit, filed in Pima County Superior Court, alleges that the defendants engaged in a sophisticated system of fraud that led to the filing of foreclosure notices on more than 130 homes and caused substantial harm to investors, lenders and rent-to-own homebuyers.
“The violations alleged in this lawsuit are among the worst abuses of vulnerable consumers that I’ve seen in my time as Attorney General. These kinds of abusive practices have contributed to the mortgage meltdown that now finds Arizona ranked among the top four states in the country for foreclosures,” Goddard said. “This sort of behavior is unconscionable.”
The complaint states that the defendants participated in a scheme that used deceptive tactics to entice under-qualified, novice investors into purchasing homes and then sold them to rent-to-own buyers. However, investigators say the scheme was designed to fail because it targeted rent-to-own homebuyers with credit problems and ignored whether they could qualify to purchase the homes.
Click on over for more detail of the scam and the names of the other conspirators.
It's worth noting that the Attorney General settled the case for a pittance, and Piazza was apparently never criminally charged. Piazza may have done nothing illegal, but someone obviously lost money in Greenspan's bubble and felt wronged.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Piazza's young family. Whatever he may have done, the kids didn't deserve this. Alan Greenspan, you're a sick bastard.
Greenspan's Body Count stands at 137.
Thomas S. Piazza
Cynthia Dunn Cannon
Byron Reed Sr.
Byron Reed Jr.
Debra K. Gibbs
Kevin Daniel O'Connell
Siu Fong Ng
Ernest Scherer Jr.
Betty J. Lipply
Del Mar man
Wayne "Mike" Anderson
Jeffrey M. Pearson
Ervin Antonio Lupoe
Steven L. Good
Dallas Dwayne Carter
Lt. Michael Howe
Palmer C. White
Dianne Pittman White
Edwin F. Rachleff
Scott M. Coles
Dawn E. Armstrong
Jonathon Calvin "40-Cal" Jacques
Little Boy X
Little Girl X
Rufus Shaw Jr.
Lynn Flint Shaw
Oh pious Varones. Who are you praying to these days?
There are no atheists in a foxhole.
Sounds to me that Mr. Piazza did a great deal to bring this upon himself. Rip off and piss off the wrong person...
If you're going to screw with people to that level, you better be a damned good judge of character.
Authorities are looking into whether the shooting death of a Tucson businessman at a restaurant Thursday morning is connected to a real estate and mortgage scam.
Police say 39-year-old Thomas S. Piazza was fatally shot while sitting with a Christian businessmen's networking group near Tucson Mall.
Police say the Christian group was waiting for a few more members to arrive when a man sitting at another table got up, walked over and fatally shot Piazza with a handgun. The shooter then rode off on a bicycle.
Hmmmm,,, Christian businessmens' lunch..... hmmmmm. Ain't dat sometin'....
I am Christian. That's why I don't fuck with people and get hung up in fraud investigations (and I don't have people gunning for me when I go get a Big Buford at the local Rally's - what a bonus).
There's no justification for cold-blooded murder like this, but don't be surprised to see these stories increasing.
Unfortunately the courts don't seem to be able to hold people like this accountable and I can see why, however reprehensible, people resort to these kinds of actions.
Government also doesn't seem to be too interested in putting a stop to this kind of activity either.
What to do?
From what I've heard from reliable sources, this killer has been there before and the employees remembered him because he never takes off his bike helmet. Mentally ill? But everyone makes evil statements as if they know what they are talking about. People just like to be heard even if they are wrong or just mean. I pray for his wife and four children.
It was a member of Piazza's group who had seen the killer before.
Howe, who runs a local media and marketing company called Praise Promotions, said she believes the man who shot Piazza had been at Chick-fil-A on several occasions when the networking group met.
"We had seen him before and we knew he rode a bike," Howe said. "It wasn't the first time he was there. We don't know if he was watching us."
The suspect may have been seen at the restaurant before at the same time as the networking group, [police officer] Pacheco said.
Sounds like he was stalking Piazza and/or trying to get up the nerve to kill, and was not just a random mentally ill guy.
"Sounds like he was stalking Piazza and/or trying to get up the nerve to kill, and was not just a random mentally ill guy."
Well, the Book of Leviticus and Deuteronomy
The law of the jungle and the sea are your only teachers
"The suit claimed Piazza, a loan officer, participated in a three-pronged scheme that centered around rent-to-own properties and unqualified buyers, which allegedly bilked 130 investors and 270 prospective home buyers out of between $2 million and $10 million between 2005 and 2007, according to Pima County Superior Court records."
About three years ago, when Piazza was working at Tucson Mortgage in an office at 1660 E. River Road, someone on a bicycle shot at Piazza as he was going out to his car after work, said Belinda Schweinsberg, who was Piazza's loan officer at Tucson Mortgage.
Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles.
To be honest, I think people who defraud and steal from others should be executed. The government won't do anything about them because they're criminals as well. I'm all for this when it's appropriate. He destroyed people's futures and lives and deserved to pay dearly for it.
The wild wild west was like this. They just hung em without a trial. There were no lawyers to make money and draw things out. Real men should begin carrying out justice because our system sure the hell doesn't! They only try to create an illusion often times.
As a personal friend of Tom's, let me say that he was trying to clear his name, and was onlin in this stupid suit because he worked for the company where the REAL culprits worked. His name showed up on a couple files and he was thrown into the mix, I believe the AG was waiting to see heads roll and threw everyone's name in a hat so to speak hoping someone knew something and would roll. He has since been dropped from the suit, posthumously. A little too late unfortunately. ALSO the CBN group WE are part of had nothing to do with this. The Tom I knew was one of the most generous, honest and caring men you could meet and would not have been mixed up in the "scam" at all. AND the "scam" was a lot of sour grapes in the first place, people went in over their heads and could not refinance the homes, and lost them. Investors AND buyers alike were more to blame than the mortgage and real estate people. Although apparently there WERE a couple shady deals from realtor/lenders teaming up to do a deal...
His wife and children did NOT deserve this, and neither did Tom, and there has been NO link to the dealings and his killing. There are a lot of things that could trigger a guy...
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