Christopher Redondo Lt. Eric Shuhandler

Christopher Redondo (left) is accused of shooting and killing Gilbert Police Lt. Eric Shuhandler (right) in January 2010.

PHOENIX (AP) — A prosecutor at the trial of a man charged with fatally shooting an Arizona police officer during a 2010 traffic stop and throwing tools from his truck during a high-speed chase that followed told jurors Wednesday that the slain officer never had a chance to pull out his handgun.

Gilbert Police Lt. Eric Shuhandler

Gilbert Police Lt. Eric Shuhandler

Defendant Christopher Redondo was so close to Lt. Eric Shuhandler during the traffic stop that gunpowder got embedded in the eyes of the Gilbert officer, prosecutor Juan Martinez told jurors during opening statements at Redondo’s trial.

“The gun was still holstered,” Martinez said.

[RELATED: Murder trial of accused cop killer finally underway nine years later]

Daniel Raynak, an attorney for Redondo, opted to make opening statements later in the trial, leading prosecutors to start calling witnesses.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

Christopher Redondo Lt. Eric Shuhandler
Christopher Redondo is shown in an undated photo provided by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office. A prosecutor made opening statements Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019 at Redondo's trial on a murder charge in the 2010 shooting death of Lt. Eric Shuhandler during a traffic stop in metro Phoenix. Redondo, whose lawyer opted to make opening statements later in the trial, has pleaded not guilty to the charges. 

Redondo, who has pleaded not guilty to murder and other charges, wasn’t in the courtroom during opening statements. He watched part of the trial from a nearby room at the courthouse using a live video feed before he was taken back to jail. It’s unknown why Redondo wasn’t in the courtroom.

Martinez didn’t reveal a motive to jurors, but investigators said previously that Shuhandler, a 16-year police veteran, was shot as he walked from his patrol car back to Redondo’s truck after learning that Redondo had an arrest warrant. Redondo’s truck had been pulled over because it had a partially covered license plate.

Authorities say Redondo and Daimen Joseph Irizarry, who was driving Redondo’s truck, fled after the shooting in Gilbert, a suburb of Phoenix.

Officers who responded to the shooting found Shuhandler gasping for breath. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.

During the 50-mile chase, police say, Redondo leaned from the passenger-side window of the truck and fired two gunshots at a police vehicle on U.S. 60.

Christopher Redondo Shuhandler trial

The trial of accused cop-killer Christopher Redondo finally got started this week. Investigators say he shot and killed Gilbert Police Lt. Eric Shuhandler on Jan. 28, 2010.

Redondo also is accused of climbing into his truck’s bed and tossing wrenches, an air compressor tank and other objects at pursuing officers to get them to back off. The objects prompted some officers to pull over to the shoulder of the freeway, police said.

“He is disabling these vehicles,” Martinez said. “Most of them are experiencing flat tires.”

Redondo is accused of firing shots at officers again after the truck ran out of gas, and the chase ended in the mining community of Superior, about 65 miles (104 kilometers) southeast of downtown Phoenix.

Authorities said Redondo and Irizarry got out of the truck, and Redondo fired more shots at officers, who returned fire.

Redondo and Irizarry were both shot and survived.

Irizarry was taken into custody, but the wounded Redondo refused to surrender, so a police dog was sent to drag him toward officers.

Irizarry was sentenced to 107 years in prison for his convictions on drive-by shooting and aggravated assault charges.

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(3) comments

nevereasy

nighty night mr.redondo

JustinP

Why the h3!! has this taken almost 9 years to get to trial. This guy should have been executed 7 years ago.

trsalemme

just execute em

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