Phoenix police arrest homicide suspect after standoff

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- Speculation ran rampant Monday morning when police made an arrest originally thought to be connected to Saturday's murder of a Walmart manager.

Phoenix police Sgt. Tommy Thompson said the suspect officers arrested after a standoff in the Maryvale neighborhood near 51st Avenue and Osborn Road is not the gunman from a deadly shooting outside a West Valley Walmart over the weekend.

The man who was arrested was wanted for questioning in connection with a homicide in Phoenix.

Police surrounded the Maryvale home where the suspect was holed up at about 4 a.m. and waited for the Phoenix Police Department's Special Assignment Unit to arrive. After a standoff that lasted a couple of hours, SAU officers entered the home and were able to take the man into custody.

The suspect, later identified as Marcos Mendoza, 31, was bitten on the foot by a police dog in the course of the arrest.

Detectives said he was wanted for his involvement in the fatal shooting of a 40-year-old man in South Phoenix on April 1. Manuel Chavarria was shot to death in the parking lot of a convenience market at Roosevelt and 19th streets.

Detectives said Mendoza and Chavarria knew each other, but police have not released a motive for the shooting.

Mendoza was transported to a local hospital before being booked for murder and trespassing charges.

Early on, it was thought that investigators were trying to determine if that suspect is the one who shot and killed Peter Marquez, an assistant manager at the Walmart near 75th Avenue and McDowell Road.

That shooting happened on the heels of a robbery just after midnight Saturday. The suspect was leaving the store when he came upon Marquez, who would have celebrated his 48th birthday Sunday, in the parking lot.

The gunman shot and killed Marquez and then fled the scene, vanishing into a nearby neighborhood.

The gunman, who was caught on surveillance video, is described as a white or Hispanic man in his 20s or 30s. He was wearing a gray hoodie sweatshirt, blue jeans and dark shoes. That suspect remains on the loose and no other identifying information has been made public.