Suspect shot in backside, victim shot in back during early morning fight

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- One man is in police custody and a second is in the hospital after an early morning shooting in the parking lot of a West Phoenix apartment complex.

It happened Tuesday at the Lynnwood Apartment Complex near 55th Avenue and McDowell Road.

According to police, the ex-girlfriend of the 35-year-old suspect lives at the complex.

He arrived at the complex to see his ex-girlfriend talking to a 31-year-old man in the parking lot.

The suspect, later identified as Jose Mario Mendoza-Mendoza, confronted the younger man. As the fight escalated, the suspect pulled out a .45-caliber gun and fired two shots. The victim apparently tried to wrest it from him.

"The handgun went off with a bullet striking the suspect on his backside," Officer James Holmes of the Phoenix Police Department wrote in an email to media outlets. "The suspect then fired one shot at the victim, striking him in the back."

He was conscious and talking when police arrived on the scene and is expected to recover.

Mendoza-Mendoza fled, but police later arrested him without incident at a relative's home in the neighborhood near 17th Avenue and Buckeye Road, which is about 10 minutes from Lynnwood.

Police took Mendoza-Mendoza to a local hospital. Holmes described the suspect's injury as "superficial."

Investigators have not said if the suspect and the victim are acquainted or if they are only connected through the suspect's ex-girlfriend.

Police have not released any information about Mendoza-Mendoza.