Crime spree victims recount brush with death

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Contractors Jack O’Halloran and Mickey Cantrell were working on the gas pumps when the suspect pulled up and started talking to them. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Contractors Jack O’Halloran and Mickey Cantrell were working on the gas pumps when the suspect pulled up and started talking to them. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Aaron Gustov was a witness to the crime spree. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Aaron Gustov was a witness to the crime spree. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Todd Munson (Source: AZ Department of Corrections and 3TV/CBS 5) Todd Munson (Source: AZ Department of Corrections and 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Phoenix police released details of a crime spree they believe was carried out by Todd Munson, 25, Wednesday that started in Ahwatukee early that morning and ended in far north Phoenix with police shooting Munson.

Munson was identified by detectives as a suspect in an Ahwatukee murder early Wednesday morning.

[READ MORE: Suspect killed after yellow Corvette chase linked to 8 different crimes]

When police tried to contact him around 12:30 p.m. in the Glendale area, Munson took off running, police said. He reportedly then he carjacked a white truck and headed out on the lamb.

Shortly before 1 p.m., Munson abandoned the truck in a parking lot at Seventh Avenue and Union Hills Drive. When he did so, the truck rolled into the glass storefront of Aaron Gustov’s barbershop.

Gustov said he saw the truck coming straight for his shop but he didn’t see anyone behind the wheel. Within a few seconds, Gustov said he saw Munson steal a yellow corvette at gunpoint from a man in the parking lot.

[RELATED STORY: High-speed pursuit of stolen yellow Corvette ends in crash; suspect killed]

From there, Munson took off in a car made for speed. The yellow corvette then pulled into the Circle K parking lot at Union Hills Drive and Tatum Boulevard. Contractors Jack O’Halloran and Mickey Cantrell were working on the gas pumps when Munson pulled up and started talking to them.

“He says, ‘I don't want to f--- up your day but I need a cell phone. I've been shot and I'm being chased by the cops,” recalled O’Halloran. 

At that point, O’Halloran said the guy was pointing a gun at him and was sweating profusely.

“He started bringing his gun up and that's when I dove off the trailer. I got down here and Mickey stood, like, OK, what's going on? And he could see the gun, so we both ducked under here and our truck was there and we got behind the truck and I just started yelling at him, 'Get the hell out of here!' And he left,” said O’Halloran.

Cantrell said it took a second to sink in that the guy had a gun.

“That's when I jumped down and dropped between there, so trying to get the trailer to kind of hide us as we were both crawling around to the other side of the pump. The guy kept telling us he needed our phones and Jack was hollering to him to get out of here,” said Cantrell.

It wasn’t until much later in the day that both men realized the man who assaulted them was a murder suspect on the run.

They believe they dodged a bullet and survived a brush with death.

“My heart was racing. This one goes down as a close life ending experience,” said O’Halloran.

“When we found out that he was wanted for a homicide, that's when it really hit us or hit me at least for sure. That’s how close it was. I mean, at any point in time if he wanted to shoot us he could have shot us before we even had a clue,” said Cantrell. 

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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Donna RossiEmmy Award-winning reporter Donna Rossi joined CBS 5 News in September 1994.

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Donna Rossi

In that time, Donna has covered some of the most high-profile stories in the Valley and across the state. Donna's experience as a four-year veteran of the Phoenix Police Department gives her a keen sense of crime and court stories. She offered gavel to gavel coverage of the 1999 sleepwalking murder trial of Scott Falater, and the trial and conviction of retired Catholic Bishop Thomas O'Brien for a fatal hit and run accident. She also spent 2 straight weeks in northeastern Arizona in the summer of 2011 covering the Wallow Fire, the largest wildfire in Arizona history.

Donna's reputation as a fair and accurate journalist has earned her the respect of her colleagues and community. Her talent as a reporter has earned her more than a dozen Arizona Associated Press Awards and five Emmy statue.

Donna previously worked as an anchor and reporter in Tucson and got her start in broadcast journalism in Flagstaff. Donna is a past president of the Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter of the National Academy of Arts and Sciences and currently serves on the NATAS board. She is a member of IFP/Phoenix, a non-profit organization of local film and documentary makers.

Donna was born in New York and moved to the Valley with her family when she was 9 years old. She is a graduate of Maryvale High School and attended Arizona State University. She graduated cum laude from Northern Arizona University.

In her free time, Donna enjoys boating on Bartlett Lake, all forms of music and theatre. Donna frequently donates her time to speak to community organizations and emcee their events. She is a past board member of DUET, a non-profit which helps promote health and well-being for older adults. Donna also loves donating her time to youth organizations and groups who work to secure and safeguard human rights.

On Oct. 17, 2015, Donna was honored for her amazing work over the years. The Rocky Mountain Chapter of the National Academy of Televisions Arts and Sciences inducted her into its Silver Circle. It's one of the organization's most prestigious honors for which only a few candidates are selected each year.

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