Mesa police were able to arrest a 34-year-old man on Thursday after a surgeon removed a 9 mm bullet from the back of a woman he is accused of shooting at an apartment complex on Monday.
The bullet gives investigators the evidence they need to connect Lamont Payne to the shooting. He is charged with aggravated assault.
Payne was arrested about 10:15 a.m. Thursday, soon after a Mesa police forensic firearms examiner determined the bullet was from the pistol police retrieved Monday. Officers said they saw Payne throw the gun and another object out of a vehicle window when he fled from police near Brown Road and Country Club Drive.
The woman Payne is accused of shooting about 1:30 a.m. Monday at the Rio Vista Apartments, 454 W. Brown Road, ran up the stairs to her apartment.
Doctors said the woman is expected to be partially paralyzed, according to a police report.
The woman, whom Payne knew since high school, was taken to Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn hospital after the incident. A surgeon removed the bullet from her lower vertebrae, according to police.
Police said the other object Payne threw out of his vehicle was 7.3 grams of cocaine.
Payne, an ex-con who had prior armed robbery and aggravated assault convictions, also was arrested on suspicion of possession of narcotic drugs for sale with intent to sell, DUI, unlawful flight from law enforcement and prohibited possessor of a firearm, police said. He had been out of prison less than 6 months.