Search for wanted man led to shootout in MesaPosted: Updated:
MESA, Ariz. -- A search for a wanted man led to a shootout with police in Mesa Tuesday night.
"A lot of times these things just happen where they happened," said Mesa police Detective Steve Berry. "Mesa's Career Criminal Squad goes after the worst of the worst."
And Tuesday their target was 20-year-old Danny Strahan, out of prison just 12 days and already wanted for some parole violations.
"This individual was identified in that car," Berry said. "The car stopped in that location and when they stopped, our officers went to contact them and that's when the exchange happened."
Police said the driver of the car hopped out and shot at officers, hitting one 8-year veteran in the leg.
The driver was ultimately shot and killed. He has been identified as Kevin Carlson, of Apache Junction. He was released from prison on Dec. 27.
Keith Emmons, of Apache Junction, is also believed to have fired at officers. He was shot and is in critical/stable condition.
"The individual we were actually trying to take into custody bailed out and took off running," Berry said. "He didn't engage officers."
According to court records, when Mesa police caught Strahan Tuesday night they found 11 grams of methamphetamine in his pockets.
Danielle Moreland, a stylist at Great Clips, says she heard the shots and doesn't understand why this bust had to happen in a busy parking lot.
"I think there are better times and better locations," Moreland said. "They didn't plan well, I don't believe."
"Things we do in police work are often dynamic," Berry said. "There are so many things we try to control and some things we simply don't have control over."
Moreland said she can understand that.
"They probably didn't plan on that happening, but it did and luckily no one else was injured," she said.
Police say the suspect vehicle was stolen, but otherwise they have no real reason for why the two suspects chose to open fire. They were not the target of this investigation.
The wounded officer was treated and released. He is said to be home and recovering well.