Family of man killed by Phoenix police struggling to get body back to Mexico

Family says Cosme Medina Núñez came to the Valley to provide for his wife and kids in Mexico and they’re struggling to understand what led up to the shooting.
Published: Jan. 27, 2023 at 8:22 PM MST|Updated: Jan. 27, 2023 at 8:46 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -Three weeks after a man with scissors was shot and killed by police in south Phoenix, his family says they’re scrambling to get his body back to Mexico. They say the father of four came to the Valley seven years ago to provide for his wife and kids in Mexico and they’re struggling to understand what led up to that deadly shooting with police. Cosme Medina Núñez was 46 years old and originally from Sinaloa. His wife tells Arizona’s Family he had been working in construction and at a tire shop in Phoenix, sending back money to his wife, kids and parents.

For Briseida Cardenas, the past month has been full of confusion. In Spanish, she tells us she hadn’t heard from her husband in two years. She says it wasn’t until he called at Christmas last year that he told her he had plans to return home to Mexico in January. Cardenas says her husband had been sending her money to build a home in Sinaloa, but on Thursday, she says a woman who knew Medina told her he had been shot and killed by Phoenix police on Jan. 3.

She says she watched part of the video released by the police department and says it was painful to watch. She believes the stun guns police used should have been more than enough for him to drop the scissors. Meanwhile, Phoenix police say the stun guns did not work and therefore, at least one officer fired several shots.

She says she reached out to police and the medical examiner herself and was told she needed to pay upwards of $9,000 within three days to return his body to Mexico, or else his body would be buried in the common grave. The Maricopa County Medical Examiner’s Office says that on Jan. 9, their office searched for family members but were unsuccessful. Having exhausted all its avenues, it noted the body could be transferred to the county’s Indigent Decedent Services Program, which provides respectful burials and services to people whose bodies are not claimed.

A week later, the Medical Examiner’s Office says his body was transferred to a funeral home under a county contract. Days later, the office says a family friend contacted them, identifying Medina. The office claims it provided Medina’s name to the funeral home to coordinate the release of the remains according to family wishes.

The Medical Examiner’s Office says the family friend is working with the funeral home to coordinate the final disposition. Its office says the county’s Indigent Decedent Services Program never became involved in this case.

Anyone interested in supporting the project, can call the family in Mexico at (6674) 08 67 64 or email