PD: Suspect arrested after shooting of Mesa cab driver - East Valley Tribune: Public Safety

PD: Suspect arrested after shooting of Mesa cab driver

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Posted: Friday, August 23, 2013 10:02 pm | Updated: 10:02 pm, Fri Aug 23, 2013.

Mesa police have arrested the 28-year-old suspect accused of shooting a cab driver Friday morning.

Sgt. Tony Landato said that the 46-year-old cabbie was shot after picking up a passenger at a home near Rio Salado and Country Club Drive.

A short time into the ride, the passenger pulled a gun and shot the driver before fleeing on foot.

Landato identified the suspect as Matthew Howardell.

The victim attempted to drive himself to the hospital while calling police. But he was convinced to pull over and wait for authorities to assist him.

Air15 video showed police cars, crime tape and a lime green "Discount Cab" near the scene of the apparent shooting.

The driver is currently listed in "serious" condition at a local hospital. His name hasn't been released yet.

Howardell is in police custody facing charges of aggravated assault.

Discount Cab issued a statement shortly before 4:30 p.m. Friday:

Our thoughts and prayers right now are with our independent contractor driver, who is currently in surgery after allegedly being shot in the head by his passenger shortly after picking up the passenger near Alma School and Broadway roads in Mesa. We are cooperating fully with the Mesa Police Department in their investigation of this incident.

Information regarding why the shooting happened or how many times the driver was shot was not immediately available.

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