PD: Fugitive wanted for questioning in beating death of Phoenix man

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- An armed and dangerous fugitive sought for the attempted homicide of a police officer is also wanted for questioning in the beating death of a Phoenix man.

Angel Padilla, 35, is an ex-con who did 12 years in prison for killing a teenage boy in the late '90s. Since his release last year, Padilla is suspected in a slew of other violent crimes, including several home invasion robberies.

But it was last month that Padilla's alleged wrongdoings suddenly elevated him to a most wanted status when, in one day,  Padilla allegedly assaulted and briefly kidnapped his estranged wife and then, while fleeing, fired more than three dozen rounds with an assault rifle at a pursuing Phoenix police officer.

Fortunately, the officer and the estranged wife suffered only minor injuries, but Padilla got away.

On Thursday, Phoenix police said they believe Padilla is also linked to the Oct. 11 beating death of David Cardoza, 67.

"Yes, there is fear there because he is still out there," said David Cardoza's 39-year-old son, Justin, during a news conference Thursday at Phoenix police headquarters.

According to Justin, his father was home alone at the family's residence near Indian School Road and 44th Street when someone broke in and attacked his father. David Cardoza remained in the hospital for nearly a month before dying from his injuries on Nov. 9.

At the news conference, police Sgt. Steve Martos said investigators believe Padilla is connected to the killing and reminded the public that a $5,000 reward is now being offer through Silent Witness for information leading to Padilla's arrest. Police also caution that they consider him armed and very dangerous.