Neighborhood shaken by weekend drive-by - East Valley Tribune: News

Neighborhood shaken by weekend drive-by

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Posted: Monday, February 11, 2008 11:51 pm | Updated: 9:34 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Residents of the 1500 block of West Seventh Drive were just riding out a weekend. Some were on the phone. Some were watching TV. And some were asleep when a two-time felon wanted for shooting a woman in October and two robberies earlier on Sunday night fired at police as the car he was in sped down the street at 9:15 p.m.

Carjacking suspect dies in cop shootout

"I've never experienced anything like that, so I was pretty freaked out," said 17-year-old Juan Marquez.

He was home with his 15-year-old brother and 10-year-old sister when Mesa and Tempe police shot and killed Jaime Martinez, 27, just three houses down from the Marquez home.

Keeping his siblings calm "was a lot of responsibility," and they, like others in the neighborhood, laid on the floor for several minutes before summoning the courage to peek out and then go outside.

On Monday afternoon, kids played in well-groomed yards and neighbors chatted in their driveways about the mayhem from the previous night.

A piece of yellow crime scene tape flapped on a fence. Scuff marks were on a curb near where the suspect's car came to a rest in the grass of Adams Elementary School.

At the corner home of Miriam Olveda were several grim examples of how close she was to the action.

One window had a hole the size of a silver dollar, and a horizontal blind was snapped in half. The brown wall had a deep gray gouge, and a garden hose had a hole in it. Olveda said she jumped out of bed when the shots were fired.

Residents said the street was littered with markers designating spent shell casings.

Detective Chris Arvayo, Mesa police spokesman, said four Mesa officers and one Tempe officer fired their weapons.

The events began at about 8:30 p.m. when Martinez and Sawajee M. Chiquette, 34, stole a car at gunpoint in Tempe, according to Arvayo.

They drove into Mesa and held up two boys, ages 15 and 16, in the 800 block of South Pasadena, Arvayo said.

Chiquette told one of the victims to hand over his property or Martinez would kill him. Martinez aimed at each boy's head and pulled the trigger, but the gun didn't fire, police said.

Tempe and Mesa officers were looking for the stolen vehicle and spotted it in the area of Standage and Vine, where they tried to make a traffic stop, but Chiquette kept driving.

Arvayo said Martinez leaned out the passenger window and fired at least twice at the officers behind them as they drove through the neighborhood.

Jorge Ramirez was watching television with the shades open to keep an eye on his 15-year-old daughter as she chatted on the phone in their yard.

That's when he heard gunshots and saw a car go by. His daughter ran into the house.

Just one house over is where the chase ended.

Arvayo said Chiquette slowed the car enough for both to jump out.

Martinez headed north toward the officers as he fired his gun.

"It looks like to them he's trying to get around the car and get them," Arvayo said. He said officers had no choice but to shoot Martinez.

According to court records, an arrest warrant had been issued for Martinez for an Oct. 20 shooting in Guadalupe that left a woman wounded in the leg.

Deputy Doug Matteson, spokesman for the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, said Martinez opened fire on a husband and wife and their two children as they drove east through the town on Guadalupe Road.

The woman was struck with a 40-caliber bullet.

Matteson said Martinez shot as many as 15 rounds at the family, apparently in retaliation for some dispute.

On Sunday, Chiquette was arrested and booked on suspicion of armed robbery, aggravated assault and unlawful flight from law enforcement.

A Tempe officer injured an ankle when his foot was run over by a police vehicle during the gunbattle.

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