Police Respond To Officer’s Slaying, Give Chase for 50 Miles

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Gilbert, AZ—In what can only be described as the dramatic pursuit, over 50 law enforcement officials and dozens of police vehicles mobilized to capture two fleeing suspects after an officer was fatally shot.

The incident began when Lt. Eric Shuhandler stopped a work truck with obscured license plates, at about 11 p.m. Thursday. After learning that the passenger, Christopher A. Redondo, had a warrant out for his arrest, Shuhandler called for backup and then approached the passenger side of the vehicle. He was shot in the head by Redondo.

The driver of the truck, Daimen Irizarry, was then responsible for leading officers from multiple law enforcement agencies in a high-speed chase that stretched for 50 miles.

Witnesses to the shooting not only called 911, but also used the radio in Shuhandler’s patrol car to contact his dispatcher and other police officers. Some officers who were already en route to the scene took up the chase immediately, and although the first pursuer’s car was stopped by gunfire from the suspects’ truck, other police kept on.

Officers from a total of five law enforcement agencies—Mesa and Gilbert Police Departments, the Arizona Department of Public Safety, and sheriff’s deputies from Pinal and Maricopa Counties—eventually joined the chase up into a mountainous region near the small mining community of Superior, Arizona. During the pursuit, the two suspects continued to fire at the officers’ cars, and to hurl tools and the tank of an air compressor from the truck, in an attempt to stop the cops.

In all, six police cruisers were struck by either bullets or the thrown objects, and two cars were involved in a collision at the chase’s conclusion, but no other officers were injured or killed.

The pursuit ended when the men stopped the truck, jumped out, and engaged the officers in a gun battle. They fired several rounds before being felled by police bullets. Both men are expected to survive the gunshots they sustained. They were taken into custody and hospitalized with non-life-threatening wounds in the lower extremities.

Redondo, 35, had been imprisoned on aggravated assault and other charges, and had been released in June 2008. Court records show that Irizarry, 30, pleaded guilty to assault in 2004 and was sentenced to probation. He, too, had a warrant out for his arrest.

The slain officer, Lt. Shuhandler, was a 16-year veteran of the force and a father of two.

 

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