Fatal Police Shooting Near Phoenix Triggers Wild 50 Mile Chase; Cop Cars Disabled, Suspects Wounded

(AP Photo)
(AP Photo)
(AP Photo)
GILBERT, Ariz. (CBS/AP) The fatal shooting of police Lt. Eric Shuhandler set off a wild 50-mile midnight chase, involving about 50 officers, from the Phoenix suburbs into the nearby mountains.

Photo: Gilbert, Az. Police Lt. Eric Shuhandler.

The suspects, Christopher Redondo and Daimen Irizarry, fired shots at police cars from their speeding pickup truck, and even tossed out wrenches, other tools and an air compressor tank during the 50-mile pursuit, police said. A half dozen police cruisers were disabled after hitting debris or being struck by bullets, in a pursuit that ultimately left the two gunmen wounded.

Photo: Christopher Redondo.

The two men in the truck were never able to lose the officers, whose numbers continued to grow even as damaged law enforcement vehicles dropped out and the officers inside hitched rides with fellow pursuers.

Authorities said the two men were initially pulled over by Shuhandler, 42, near the southeast Phoenix suburb of Gilbert at about 11 p.m. on Thursday.

Police say the 16-year veteran cop was mortally wounded; shot in the face as he walked back toward the pickup after finding the passenger had an arrest warrant.

Photo: Daimen Irizarry.

Shuhandler, a father of two girls, was rushed to a hospital, where he died shortly before midnight.

Redondo, 35, is believed to have been the gunman and Irizarry, 30, the driver who led officers from multiple law enforcement agencies on the pursuit. They were both wounded in the lower extremities, taken into custody and hospitalized.

Both were in stable, non-life-threatening condition Friday, according to officials.

"It is nothing short of a miracle that no officers or members of the public were injured or killed (in the chase)," Gilbert Police Chief Timothy Dorn said Friday.

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