BUCKEYE, Ariz. - MCSO is taking the lead in an investigation into the shooting of a suspect who was on the run for several days.
Christopher Mendoza eluded officers time after time, taking the search from Avondale to Surprise, and finally from Surprise to Buckeye. Buckeye Police officers shot Mendoza as he tried to escape capture a fourth time in a rural West Valley neighborhood.
Following the officer-involved shooting Monday, Mendoza is in the hospital with life-threatening gunshot wounds. He remains in critical condition.
Mendoza is a convicted felon, and was wanted on a string of violent charges since Friday, when police were called to a Goodyear Walmart after he threatened his girlfriend with a gun. Mendoza ran off, sparking a four-day manhunt that includes three standoffs, and spanned four cities.
Investigators worked overnight and into Tuesday afternoon at the scene where Mendoza was finally caught. According to police, Mendoza tried to break into a home after he was spotted by police, but was unsuccessful. Then, he stole an exterminator truck. Buckeye Police officers surrounded him, as he waved a gun around in the air.
Unlike the three previous attempts to capture him, there was no standoff.
"I think that I heard three shots," said Lovell Willis, who lives in the area.
Buckeye Police officials say three of their officers opened fire on Mendoza, after he refused to obey commands and then drove the truck toward them.
Christopher Mendoza (Goodyear Police)
No officers were hurt.
"When I looked out the door, I saw the lights up and down the road," said Willis. "I stayed inside with my door locked, and that was it."
As the neighborhood is located in a County Island, MCSO is leading the investigation.
On Tuesday, FOX 10's Nicole Garcia spoke with Mendoza's family members, who said Mendoza was scared, and desperate not to go back to prison.
Mendoza was not supposed to have a gun, and could face additional charges, including kidnapping, theft, and aggravated assault.