A Flagstaff man arrested in a road-rage shooting this week may have been angered by a parking crunch in his Railroad Springs neighborhood that he blamed, in general, on the victim.
William Frost, 69, was arrested for aggravated assault Thursday morning after allegedly shooting William Cummings, 21, in the cheek Tuesday after Frost almost hit Cummings' car while it was idled on Northwestern Street. Cummings’ injuries were described by police as “non-life-threatening.”
According to Flagstaff Police Public Information Officer Sgt. Cory Runge, Frost was turning left onto Northwestern Street from Route 66 when he nearly hit Cummings, a resident of a nearby townhouse complex.
“Mr. Frost came very close to hitting Cummings' vehicle and that upset Mr. Cummings,” Runge said. “He followed Mr. Frost and a shooting occurred.”
Cummings’ townhouse complex, which features extremely narrow streets, does not allow on-street parking, and there are fewer than a dozen off-street spaces for guests. Each townhouse comes with an undersized two-car garage, and some owners are renting to NAU students who bring more than two cars to each unit.
Frost had grown increasingly frustrated with students driving over to his block outside the townhomes and parking on the street, according to police.
“We have received a large number of complaints about people parking on the streets and near residences in that area,” said Runge. “Mr. Frost has been one of the more vocal complainers.”
Residents of the townhomes where Cummings lived said they have problems parking near their homes if their garages are full and when the guest spots fill up, forcing them to park on the street, near local business and close to other people’s houses.
“Parking here sucks,” Griffin Thomas said. “We pay the money to live here and we have to worry about getting towed in our own neighborhood.”
Resident Marissa Larkin said that parking is always a point of contention between townhome residents and the rest of the Railroad Springs neighborhood.
“My roommates are always having issues with parking,” Larkin said, who found a spot near her house. “We either have to park on the street or by a business, and a lot of people here don’t like that.”
The situation is frustrating for people in the area. Tow truck signs are placed around the neighborhood, warning people to park at their own risk.
The Chevron Station at 1785 Railroad Spring Blvd. has taken to enforcing a 15-minute parking limit because of the increasing number of townhome residents leaving their cars at the gas station.
“It is aggravating because there are times when we have had no parking,” Chevron Assistant Manager Jim Eyrich said. “We can’t run our business if we don't have parking spots.”
Frost is being held in Coconino County Detention Facility.