Teen shot by police after trying to run over cop during beer run

Posted: Updated:
Teen dies
azfamily.com

PHOENIX -- 17-year-old Gonzalo Cordova was getting ready to join the army.

"Tomorrow's his birthday - he's 18, just graduated high school." says Berta Remato, Cordova's mother. "He's getting his life on track."

But instead of celebrating his birthday, Cordova's family is mourning his death.

Phoenix police say late Friday night they caught Cordova and his friends shoplifting from a gas station.

Juan Herrera is one of them.

"We walked out with beef jerky, an 18 pack, and ice." says Herrera, who also said that the group did not pay for the items.

They didn't surrender peacefully. Police say the teens, ages 14-to-18, jumped in a car, aimed it at an officer on the scene, and hit the gas.

Andy Hill with the PHoenix Police says the "car was coming at him, the officer thought they were trying to run him over. The vehicle was being used as a deadly weapon, so the officer was justified in using deadly force."

The driver, Gonzalo Cordova, was shot in the arm and shoulder. But he continued driving with two other teens inside.

Another teen in the car, Guadalupe Zamoi, recalls "I seen him go like this and started swerving."

Cordova lost control, hit a fire hydrant, and the car rolled into a yard.

A 14-year old in the car suffered major head injuries. Two other teens involved and all officers were physically unharmed. But emotionally it's been a difficult day for everyone involved.

Right now police do not know if Cordova died from the gunshot wounds or the car crash.