PHOENIX - An SUV stolen during an Aug. 8 carjacking and shooting in the parking lot of a Peoria Target store was found in Phoenix, and a week later after being on the run, authorities announced the suspect is being charged with several crimes.
The incident happened near 91st and Northern Avenues.
The suspect was identified on Aug. 13 as Adonijah Josiah Ortega, 19. According to a criminal complaint, he's charged with carjacking, using, carrying, brandishing, and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, and felon in possession of a firearm.
"The complaint alleges that on August 8, 2022, at approximately 11:30 a.m., Ortega approached the victim while he was entering his vehicle in the parking lot of a Target Store, located at 9350 West Northern Avenue, Peoria, Arizona. After Ortega approached the victim, he pointed a semi-automatic handgun at him, and demanded the victim give him his keys and wallet," says a news release from the Office of the United States Attorneys.
The victim was hit several times on the head with the gun and Ortega reportedly fired his gun twice, hitting the victim once in the thigh. That's when authorities say Ortega took the victim's car, a gray 2004 Toyota 4-Runner.
"After Ortega fled, the victim limped toward the store where citizens rendered aid until paramedics arrived. The victim was transported to a local hospital with a gunshot wound and multiple lacerations to his head," authorities said.
The victim, identified only as a young man, suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
Detectives said they received several 911 calls with witness statements and that they used surveillance footage from local businesses to help track down the suspect. They also do not believe there was a connection between the victim and suspect, and that it was a random carjacking.
The investigating agencies are the Peoria Police Department, FBI, and the Phoenix Police Department.
‘It’s not surprising'
A woman at the scene told FOX 10 she was not surprised by another act of violence.
"It’s not surprising because every day now it seems like there’s a shooting going on," she said. "Everywhere we go it seems like, you go to the mall, something happens at the mall. Now you go to Target, something happens at Target. It’s like everywhere you go there’s a shooting now that happens."
The day following the incident, SkyFOX was over the scene near 34th Street and Dunlap Avenue in the Phoenix Mountain Preserve where a Toyota 4-Runner with the same license plate was found. Police later confirmed the SUV to be the same one involved in the carjacking. The suspect remains on the loose.
If you have any information, you're asked to call police at 623-773-8311.