Phoenix police say a suspect on the loose after an officer-involved shooting on Oct. 13 is behind several other violent crimes, including a string of home invasions.
Locating Angel Padilla, 35, "is critical in ensuring the safety of our community," Phoenix police spokesman Sgt. Steve Martos said Monday.
On Oct. 13, Padilla, who had just kidnapped his estranged female partner, opened fire on an officer but only hit a patrol car, officers said.
Martos said Padilla dragged his estranged partner from her home and drove away with her. A patrol officer saw Padilla's vehicle run a stop sign and tried to get it to stop not knowing a kidnapping was under way.
Martos said Padilla stopped, got out with an assault-style rifle and fired repeatedly at the patrol car. The officer took cover and wasn't seriously hurt but the windshield, door, hood and tires of the car were hit.
Padilla later released the woman but police have not been able to locate him.
Police said this past Saturday, officers developed leads into two armed home invasions pointing to Padilla.
"I believe that he is running out of options," said Martos. "He is committing these additional violent crimes because of his desperation."
The first occurred in the area of 3900 W. Thomas Rd. at about 8:45 p.m. The second occurred nearby in the neighborhood of 3000 N. 46th Ave. at about 9 p.m.
At the second home, an 18-year-old girl who didn't want to be identified, spoke with CBS 5 about that frightening night. She said she was home with another high school friend, when they heard someone coming through the back door.
She said, "We were eating and we heard the slide door open and we saw somebody in a white shirt close the blinds. Once he turned we saw him and my friend started screaming and I started asking him what did he want." She said the suspect appeared sweaty, panicky and holding a gun.
"I was really scared. I thought he was going to shoot me," she said.
The teenager said he took off with her cell phone and her mom's truck which he later ditched a few streets away.
Officers also believe Padilla is behind two other home invasions prior to the officer-involved shooting. In one home invasion, the victim was not so lucky.
"We believe he went into a home and brutally beat a victim to the point that that victim was in a hospital in critical condition," said Martos.
On Aug. 1, 2011, police said Padilla was identified in a home invasion still under investigation by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.
Martos said anyone who comes across this suspect is urged to use caution as he is considered armed and dangerous. Silent Witness has increased its reward to $5,000 for his capture and conviction.
People with any information about Padilla's whereabouts are asked to call the Phoenix Police Department's Violent Crimes Bureau at 602-262-6141. Those who wish to remain anonymous are asked to call Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS or 480-TESTIGO.
Copyright 2012 CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Sunday, March 9 2014 3:04 PM EDT2014-03-09 19:04:53 GMT
(Source: CBS 5 News)
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