Suspect in kidnapping and officer-involved shooting captured

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX -- The man Phoenix police said tried to kill one of their own officers is behind bars. The Phoenix SWAT team arrested 35-year-old Angel Padilla during a raid on a house near 91st Avenue and Palm Lane around 6 p.m. on Sunday.

Police said Padilla didn’t put up a fight when the tactical team arrived to take him into custody. There were also two adults and three children in the home where he was arrested, according to police, who plan to release more details about the arrest at a media briefing late Monday morning. 

As of Sunday night, police were working to obtain a search warrant for the home where Padilla was arrested, as well as DNA from Padilla himself. Police said they expect to find weapons at the home.

Sgt. Steve Martos with the Phoenix Police Department said Padilla was refusing to talk with interrogating officers and had invoked his Miranda Rights.

The arrest ends a crime spree that has terrorized parts of the Valley for the past month. During October, police blame Padilla for several different crimes including the attempted murder of a police officer, and the assault and brief kidnapping of his estranged wife. Police also believed he is connected to the death of an elderly man, beaten during an armed robbery.

Padilla is an ex-con who did 12 years in prison for killing a teenage boy in the late 1990s. 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.

About a month later, Phoenix police said they believe Padilla is also linked to the Oct. 11 beating death of David Cardoza, 67.

According to Justin Cardoza, 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.

Padilla faces one count each of attempted first-degree murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a weapon by a prohibited person. His bond was set at $1 million.

Martos said there will likely be more charges tacked on as the investigation unfolds.