High-speed chase ends with officers shooting suspect

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Mario Leyva-Castillo By Jennifer Thomas Mario Leyva-Castillo By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Phoenix police officers shot and injured a man after he led them on a high-speed chase and pointed his gun at them multiple times.

No officers or civilians were injured.

The incident started just before 2 p.m. Wednesday when officers observed the driver of a white Hyundai make a left turn through a red light at the intersection of 31st Avenue and Thunderbird Road.

As the car headed southbound, another patrol car began following it at which time the suspect allegedly reached out of his car window and pointed a handgun at officers who were in pursuit.

"He pointed the gun out the window directly at the vehicle," said Phoenix police Officer James Holmes. "The officers took evasive action and he continued on."

The driver continued to speed and drive erratically. Holmes said he ran a number of red lights and blew through a school crossing around 35th and Peoria avenues.

The chase continued for close to five miles before the driver finally crashed into a civilian car at the intersection of 59th Avenue and Cactus Road in Glendale.

At that point Phoenix police officers approached the suspect, but he allegedly pointed his gun at them.

Glendale Police public information officer Tracey Breeden said the three Phoenix police officers -- Sgt. Bill Gatlin, Officer Jeff Anders and Officers Alex Crabbs -- feared for their lives and fired at the suspect, striking him.

The suspect, later identified as Mario Leyva-Castillo, 29, was transported to a local hospital for treatment.

He was released from the hospital Tuesday night and booked into the Maricopa County Fourth Avenue Jail on seven counts of aggravated assault, one count of felony flight and one count of resisting arrest.