Homicide suspect shot by Mesa officer after driving into pizzeria to avoid police

A fugitive is in the hospital after being shot by police when he drove into a pizzeria in Mesa to try and escape law enforcement.
Published: Aug. 21, 2022 at 6:36 PM MST
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MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — A Mesa police officer shot a wanted homicide suspect from New Mexico who crashed his SUV into a pizzeria on Sunday afternoon, investigators said. According to Richard Encinas with the Mesa Police Department, it all started when at around 1:45 p.m., the Arizona Department of Public Safety asked for Mesa’s help finding 36-year-old Kevin McKinney who was wanted for a homicide in Albuquerque, New Mexico and had a felony warrant out of Colorado. They had information that he may be in the area of Dobson and Baseline roads in a black Jeep Patriot with a light bar on top. Officers in plain clothes found the SUV in a parking lot on the northeast side of the intersection. Another officer then spotted McKinney inside a pizzeria, so they called in Mesa’s SWAT team.

Officers moved in and surrounded McKinney after he left the pizza shop. “Once he got into the car, our officers moved into enclose him in, try and box him in if you will,” said Encinas. Encinas said McKinney refused to get out of the Patriot, so he hit the gas and crashed into the pizzeria to escape the police. “The only way he could get out was to try and go through the business and that’s what he tried to do,” he said. That’s when an officer shot him. McKinney was taken to the hospital, where he’s expected to survive after surgery. No one in the pizzeria and no officers were hurt. Encinas didn’t say if McKinney was armed.

According to court paperwork, McKinney is accused of shooting a man who was sitting in a car early Sunday morning at an apartment complex parking lot in Albuquerque. The warrant out of Colorado didn’t say what it was connected to.

According to Arizona’s Family’s records, this is the 44th officer-involved shooting in the Phoenix area and 65th in the state overall in 2022.