PHOENIX (AP) - The death penalty phase began Wednesday after a man was convicted of first-degree murder and other charges in the killing of a Phoenix-area police officer 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.
A jury returned its verdict against Christopher Redondo in the shooting death of Lt. Eric Shuhandler on Tuesday.
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, a suburb of Phoenix.
Shuhandler was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead.
During the 50-mile (80-kilometer) chase, police say, Redondo leaned from the passenger-side window of the truck and fired two gunshots at a police vehicle on U.S. 60. Police also said Redondo climbed into his truck's bed and tossed wrenches, an air compressor tank and other objects at pursuing officers to get them to back off. The objects prompted some officers to pull to the shoulder of the freeway, police said.
They say 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.
Authorities said Redondo and Irizarry got out of the truck, and Redondo fired more shots at officers, who returned fire.
Redondo and Irizarry were both shot and survived.
Redondo was convicted on charges of first-degree murder, aggravated assault, and drive-by shooting.
Irizarry was sentenced to 107 years in prison for his convictions on drive-by shooting and aggravated assault charges.