SHOOTOUT AT CHANDLER MALL

Posted: January 6, 2011 in Battlefield Arizona, California: Failed State, Trans-Border Crime

1-6-11

The suspect in Wednesday’s shootout at the Chandler Fashion Center escaped from the mall before police surrounded it and ran to a nearby restaurant where he fired shots at officers and held two women hostage, according to court records.

The records report that the suspect, Adam Armando Hernandez, taunted officers as they pursued him from the mall to the Baja Fresh restaurant across Chandler Boulevard, shaking his hand at them, showing them his middle finger, pulling a handgun from his waistband and shooting at them after he entered the restaurant.

Hernandez, 27, is being held in Maricopa County Jail on $1 million bond. He has been charged with attempted first degree murder of an officer and theft. He had been released from state prison in 2009, where he served time for aggravated assault.

A police report filed with the San Marcos Justice Court in Chandler said Hernandez told arresting officers he was on the run for a probation violation and knew he was being followed by officers Wednesday in the mall’s parking lot. Detectives from the U.S Marshal Fugitive Task Force and other agencies were at the mall looking for a suspect in a string of recent armed robberies and other crimes.

Police initially mistook him for fugitive Daniel Perez, wanted for shooting at Department of Public Safety officers in Casa Grande on Dec. 10.

After detectives approached Hernandez in the mall parking lot, he left his vehicle and headed for the mall, the report says. As detectives attempted to contact him, he ran into a store, through the mall and then back into the parking lot.

As he continued to run with officers running after him, another detective drove toward him to try to take him into custody. He turned and fired several shots toward the police vehicle, the report says. Bullets went through the side window and side mirror, as well as the roof just above the windshield.

“The officer returned fire through the windshield of his vehicle. Another detective was on foot at the time of the initial shots and Hernandez then fire rounds at the officer on foot,” the document says.

Hernandez returned to the mall through a store, dropping a magazine from his firearm and then left the store and ran into the interior of the mall, dropping his sweatshirt along the way. He was about to call a taxi to get away when he saw people who he believed to be detectives looking at him. He ran north from the mall and crossed Chandler Boulevard. Detectives saw Hernandez attempt to flag down vehicles as he ran.

“Detectives indicated Hernandez looked directly at them and shook his hand in a motion indicating, “no,” the report says. “Hernandez then flipped the officers the middle finger and removed a handgun from his waistband.”

He then entered the Baja Fresh.

While in the restaurant he located a key to the safe and removed a large amount of money, according to the records. One of four employees in the store and all the customers escaped. He held two cashiers hostage as a third employee hid inside the store, the report says.

After talking with negotiators, Hernandez turned himself over to police.

Officers said that during the incident, Hernandez had yelled that he would “shoot them in the head.”

During the negotiations at the Baja Fresh, he admitted his involvement in the initial shootout at the mall, the documents report.

Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/12news/news/articles/2011/01/06/20110106chandler-mall-shooting-chase-standoff-details-abrk.html#ixzz1AHuzM7np

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