Archive for the ‘AZ’ Category

Arizona: Robbery fails when cab driver grabs gun, bites suspect

August 14, 2009

Chandler, Arizona

From ABC15 of August 14, 2009

Robbery fails when cab driver grabs gun, bites suspect

A cab driver fought back against a man, who tried to rob him at gunpoint on Friday morning, by biting his ear and taking his gun.

Detective David Ramer with the Chandler Police Department said a cab driver pulled into an apartment complex near Dobson and Ocotillo roads around 1 a.m. to drop off his passenger.

As the cab came to a stop, the passenger allegedly pulled a gun on the driver and demanded cash.

Ramer said the cab driver grabbed the suspect’s gun and pulled it down between the front seats, forcing the suspect to lean over the seats closer to the cab driver.

With his hands holding the gun down between the seats, the cab driver reportedly bit the suspect’s ear.

“I almost bit his ear off,” said the cab driver, Mwengi Gachii. “I’m okay because I am always suspicious of people like that.”

The suspect then fired one shot, striking the driver seat of the vehicle and then responded in turn by biting Gachii, according to the police report.

At one point, Gachii says the suspect bit him in the chest. “He was really drunk,” Gachii said.

After a struggle, the suspect fled from the cab. Gachii ran after the suspect while carrying his gun.

After a brief chase, Gachii stopped and called police.

Police were able to catch the alleged robber in the complex.

The suspect, identified as 29-year-old Matthew Mailhot of Chandler, was taken to a local hospital to be treated for his injuries.

Mailhot was booked into the Maricopa County Jail for armed robbery.


Arizona: Homeowner With Shotgun Kills Intruder

June 19, 2009

Phoenix, Arizona

From KPHO of June 18, 2009

Homeowner With Shotgun Kills Intruder

A Mesa homeowner used a shotgun to defend himself during a home invasion late Wednesday night, authorities said.

According to Mesa Police Department spokesman Sgt. Ed Wessing, two men armed with guns and demanding money forced their way into the home near Stapley Road and Southern Avenue.

The intruders rounded up the four men who live there and forced them into a room, Wessing said.

“At some point during this crime, one of the residents was able to grab a shotgun,” Wessing said. “(He) shot and killed one of them, and then fired at the second suspect (who) was injured but then fled the area.”

Police said the second intruder ended up at a nearby hospital, where he is expected to survive.

The four men were not injured.

Neighbor Ron Hahn has surveillance cameras set up around his home for security, and he shared copies of the video with police.

The video appeared to be too dark to determine what was going on inside the home; however, Hahn said his cameras did catch someone two months ago.

A person jumped the fence into his back yard and dismantled the security light.

“He sat in the corner of my yard for about, I would say, five minutes or so, watching the house behind me (where the homicide occurred) with a two-way radio,” Hahn said.

Police also have the surveillance video from the second incident; however, they said it’s too early to tell if it’s related to the home invasion.

Arizona: Phoenix liquor store clerk shoots would-be robber

June 10, 2009

Phoenix, Arizona

From the Arizona Repulic of June 6, 2009

Phoenix liquor store clerk shoots would-be robber

A Phoenix liquor store clerk shot a would-be robber Saturday afternoon, after the robber pulled a knife on the clerk, police said.

Phoenix police gave this account:

About 12:30 p.m. two men went to a liquor store, near 23rd and Northern avenues after having been there two hours before.

During the second trip to the store, one of the men stayed outside. The other asked the clerk for a piece of paper.

As the clerk was waiting on other customers, the 29-year-old suspect wrote something on the paper. After the other customers left, the suspect handed a robbery note to the clerk. The clerk acted as though he couldn’t read.

That’s when the suspect came towards the clerk and opened a gate, which separates the clerk from the customers, and pulled out a knife. Seeing this, the clerk grabbed a gun and shot the suspect.

The suspect ran out of the store and across the street to a friend’s apartment. He knocked on the door and collapsed. The friend called 911.

Police arrived and the suspect was taken to a local hospital where he remains in critical condition.

Female Carjacker Shot In Tucson

April 24, 2009

Tucson, Arizona

From the April 24, 2009 Arizona Daily Star:

A woman who tried to carjack a man at gunpoint outside a North Side Walgreens early Thursday was shot and wounded by the man, police said.

The man called police around 12:30 a.m. to report he had just shot one of two women who tried to take his car as he waited in the pharmacy drive-through near East Grant and North Swan roads, said Sgt. Fabian Pacheco, a Tucson Police Department spokesman.

Pacheco gave this account:

The 26-year-old man, whose name was not released, had just left Tucson Medical Center and went to fill a prescription.

When he drove back to the drugstore to check on his prescription, two women came up to his car. One was armed with a gun.

The woman tried to shoot the man, but he pulled his own gun while she was trying to pull the trigger. Her gun didn’t fire for an unknown reason.

The man fired his gun twice. One shot grazed her head, and the other struck her in the shoulder.
The woman fell to the ground, and the man took her gun away.

Tucson Home Invaders Shot With Guns & Video

February 13, 2009

Tucson, Arizona

From February 10, 2009 KVOA channel 4:

A homeowner, alerted of an impending home invasion by his security cameras, arms himself and takes matters into his hands last Thursday when four armed suspects attempt to break into his home.

The video the owner caught is incredible, and you can see it by watching the video link to the left. You see a vehicle pull up, and four men run out. One of them is carrying what appears to be an AR-15 or M-16, a weapon which could be fully automatic.

The robbery happened last Thursday in broad daylight at a home on West Vande Loo Street. All the action was caught by the homeowners outdoor surveillance system.

“The victim was able to get back inside his house, close his door, semi barricade it, reach for [a] weapon that was easily accessible,” says Pima County Sheriff’s Deputy Earl Gieron.

The homeowner shot at the suspects. He even put a bullet through the windshield of the suspects car, which is also caught on camera. The four men retreated and took off. All of them remain on the run.

The video, which includes the homeowner’s video surveillance camera capture of the action, indicates that one of the invaders was shot in the arm and taken into custody.

Arizona: Apparent robber shot dead at store

January 28, 2009

Tuscon, Arizona

From the Arizona Star of January 27, 2009

Apparent robber shot dead at store

An employee at a South Side convenience store shot and killed one of two men trying to rob the store Monday and was himself wounded in the brief shootout, police said.

Two men walked into the Grand Market, in the 6200 block of South Sixth Avenue, sometime before 5:30 p.m., said Sgt. Mark Robinson, a Tucson Police Department spokesman.

They shot at an employee, a man in his early 50s, who fired back, Robinson said.

The employee shot one of the would-be-robbers, an 18-year-old, who ran outside into the parking lot where he collapsed and died. The other robber ran away, and police are still looking for him, Robinson said.

The employee was also shot. He was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, Robinson said.

Witnesses described the missing suspect as in his mid-20s to early 30s. He was wearing a black-and-white football jersey and a red bandanna, Robinson said.

Margarita Grajeda lives in the area and drops into the Grand Market from time to time.

Grajeda wasn’t surprised that someone could get shot trying to rob the market. She said the store had been robbed before, and it was only a matter of time before someone at the store was forced to shoot.

“I knew somebody was going to get shot someday,” she said.

As for the store owners, she said she hoped they were all right.

“They’re such nice people. So nice,” she said.

Arizona: Jewelry store owner shoots would-be thieves

January 7, 2009

Phoenix, Arizona

From the Arizona Republic of January 6, 2009

Jewelry store owner shoots would-be thieves

The owner of a Phoenix jewelry store shot two men who had used pepper spray on him during an attempted robbery.

The suspects, identified as 24-year-old Gregory Mills and 27-year-old Jason Buckingham, were taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and are expected to be charged Tuesday.

Phoenix police say Mills and Buckingham went to the jewelry store of a 61-year-old man around 2 p.m. Monday and tried to sell a watch, but were denied because it was missing parts.

About 10 minutes later, they returned, pepper sprayed the store owner in the face and smashed the glass of a display cabinet.

That’s when the owner pulled a gun from his pocket, shot each suspect and held them at gunpoint until officers arrived.

Investigators say the owner acted in self defense and won’t be charged.

Arizona: Man arrested in double murder

January 6, 2009

Glendale, Arizona

From the Arizona Republic of January 6, 2009

Man arrested in double murder

The Glendale Police Department has made its first homicide arrest of 2009, thanks to help from Phoenix police.

Jesus Adan Nevarez-Cota is suspected of being one of four men involved in a home-invasion robbery in June that left the homeowner and an intruder dead.

Police say Nevarez-Cota, 20, of Phoenix, and the three other men were armed with assault rifles when they kicked in the back door of a Glendale residence in the 7000 block of West Cavalier Drive. Police say the homeowner, who also was armed, confronted the men and a gunbattle ensued.

Police said Nevarez-Cota is the registered owner of a vehicle that the men used to leave the scene.

Phoenix police talked to Nevarez-Cota on Dec. 31, during a traffic stop, and called Glendale authorities.

He now faces two counts of first-degree murder.

Arizona: Intruder killed in burglary attempt

December 26, 2008

Phoenix, Arizona

From KPHO of December 24, 2008

Intruder killed in burglary attempt

A Valley resident shot one of two intruders in his Phoenix home Tuesday night, police said.

According to police, two burglars broke into the man’s home, and the homeowner grabbed his gun and shot one in the chest.

The intruders fled, though the injured one was dropped off at a nearby Circle K, police said.

Officers said they are still searching for the second intruder.

Chandler, Arizona Jeweler Exchanges Gunfire With Robbers

December 23, 2008

Chandler, Arizona

From December 21, 2008 KNXV channel 15:

A store owner shot by a would-be robber is expected to make a full recovery following a shootout Saturday night in Chandler.

Police said two men walked into Christopher Diamonds at Chandler Boulevard and Coronado just before 7 p.m.

One had a gun and apparently tried to rob the place.

Police said Christopher Diamonds is a family run business and only three people were in the store at the time, including the owner, his wife and his son.

Another employee was outside the business.

Police said the owner, Rusty Uptain, grabbed a gun to defend his family and store.

A gun battle ensued and both Uptain and one of the suspects, 46-year-old Kevin William Murray, was shot.

Police said Uptain was shot in the face, but is expected to be okay.

Murray reportedly jumped into a stolen pick-up truck and fled the scene.

A police officer spotted the truck and chased him to the 101 and Broadway in Tempe.

That’s where they said Murray died.

At about 8:15 p.m., a police dog tracked the scent of the second robber, 27-year-old Kenneth Wayne Simpson Jr.

Officers peeled out of the parking lot and caught Simpson a few blocks away near a wash.

Police said the suspects did not steal anything.

Family spokesperson Nancy Uptain told ABC 15, “My brother-in-law is an incredible marksman he’s a hunter and we’re very gratefully for our gun rights because with him being able to have his own protection he was able to save his family.”

“These men came in and they had full intentions of killing the family and taking the jewelry,” she said.

“It hit his nose the side of his nose and the corner of his eye.”

Doctors are confident they are able to save not only Uptain’s vision, but his eye.