PHOENIX (AP/FOX 10) -- A jury has sentenced a man convicted in the 2010 killing of a police lieutenant to life in prison.
Christopher Redondo was convicted of first-degree murder and other charges in the killing of Lt. Eric Shuhandler during a 2010 traffic stop. The shooter and another man then led police on a high-speed chase where he fired gunshots and tossed tools and other objects at pursuing officers, authorities said.
Authorities say Shuhandler, a 16-year police veteran, stopped Redondo's truck because his license plate was partially obscured. He was shot as he walked from his patrol car back to Redondo's truck after learning there was an open arrest warrant for Redondo. Authorities say Redondo, 44, and Daimen Joseph Irizarry, who was driving Redondo's truck, fled after the shooting in Gilbert.
Shuhandler was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead.
Authorities said Redondo fired shots at officers again after the truck ran out of gas, and the chase ended in the mining community of Superior, about 65 miles (104 kilometers) southeast of Phoenix. Redondo and Irizarry then got out of the truck, and Redondo fired more shots at officers, who returned fire.
Redondo and Irizarry were both shot and survived.
Irizarry was sentenced to 107 years in prison for his convictions on drive-by shooting and aggravated assault charges.
Gilbert Police officials have issued a statement on Redondo's sentencing, via a tweet made to its verified Twitter page.
After nine long years, our community finally has closure. Rest In Peace Lieutenant Shuhandler.💙🖤 pic.twitter.com/Uc2FivcsSA— Gilbert Police Dept. (@GilbertPolice) May 7, 2019
The tweet contained a statement attributed to Gilbert Police Chief Michael Solberg, which reads:
"In April 17, 2019, we received a guilty verdict against Christopher Redondo for first degree murder and additional felony charges. Today the jury sentenced Redondo to life in prison. This decision brings closure to our community after nine years of waiting for justice to be served for Lieutenant Eric Shuhandler. The Gilbert Police Department appreciates the continued support from our community. Lieutenant Shuhandler will be missed, but he will never be forgotten."
Outside of the courthouse on Tuesday, family members and friends hugged and cried, as the sentencing finally brought some closure. Lt. Shuhandler's relatives had hoped Redondo would face the death penalty, and at least one juror felt like the jury got it wrong. Lisa Lerma said the debate over the death penalty got heated.
"I haven't slept in almost five months," said Lerma. "We argued. We threw things. We fought with each other over this. It was six for death penalty. Three undecided, and three life. We ended up with life, and I don't know how we got there."
Lerma said Shuhandler's family deserved better.
"I'm so sorry that we weren't able to get there," said Lerma.
The Associated Press (AP) contributed to this report.