Mesa police shoot driver in chase - East Valley Tribune: News

Mesa police shoot driver in chase

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Posted: Thursday, February 21, 2008 8:26 pm | Updated: 9:35 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

A man who police said flashed a gun in a restaurant, tried to flee in his car and then rammed a patrol vehicle, was shot multiple times Thursday night.

 Police wouldn’t release the man’s name and fire officials wouldn’t confirm the severity of his injuries. The man was airlifted to a local hospital and his condition was unknown.

 No officers were injured during the incident, police said.

The chain of events began at Hambone Sports Bar and Grill, 903 E. Main Street about 5:20 p.m. when a man displayed a gun during an argument inside the restaurant, said Mesa police spokesman detective Steve Berry.

The man fled in a pickup truck and was followed by a police helicopter. As the truck traveled east on Broadway Road from Stapley Drive, the pilot witnessed the truck driving “erratically” and “swerving left of center,” Berry said.

Undercover detectives then closed in on the truck as marked units rushed to the scene. The truck tried to pull into a neighborhood in the 4200 block of E. Broadway Road, near Broadway and Greenfield roads, but was cornered by undercover officers when the gate in front of the community kept the vehicle from going inside.

 Mesa detectives with guns drawn confronted the man while he was in his truck, Berry said, but the suspect drove forward and rammed a marked patrol cruiser. At the same time, two detectives commanded the driver to stop and opened fire, police said.

 It was not clear how many times the man was shot.

 Berry said he didn’t know if the man ever threatened police with a handgun or if he was still ramming the vehicle before police fired. Berry added that the vehicles were “lodged together.”

Doris Pool, whose home backs up to Broadway Road where the shooting occurred, said she heard a lot of “noise.”

 “I heard three shots...I didn’t know what it was,” Pool said.

 This is the third officer involved shooting this year in Mesa.

 Tribune Interns Michael Cavaleri and Jen Jepson contributed to this report.

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