MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - Two men are in custody after they led officers on a brief chase and shot at officers in an east Mesa neighborhood on Wednesday afternoon, investigators said. It all started with two officers in the area of 78th Street and Baseline, looking for a man suspected of stealing a car. They spotted him outside of a car. "The officers turned around in their vehicle and initiated a traffic stop," said Detective Richard Encinas with the Mesa Police Department.
The suspect got into the passenger's side of the car and the driver took off. The officers in their patrol vehicle followed while calling in on the radio for more officers to help. While following the suspect's car, Encinas said the suspects fired at the officers. The driver kept going and pulled over about two streets over and both suspects ran off.
Police responded in force, set up a perimeter, and found the pair. "We did lose sight of them for a brief period of time. One of them was taken into custody outside of a home that we do not feel that they live there," said Encinas. "Another was taken into custody outside of the perimeter."
No officers or suspects were hurt. Investigators originally said there were three suspects in custody but Encinas later said there wasn't a third suspect in the car.
Zac Borders lives in the area but wasn't home. However, he got an alert from his security camera that one of the suspects was at his house. So he looked at the security footage. "There's a guy, busting into our backyard, running around and then running out the side yard and into the street with the cops coming," said Borders. Police nabbed the man a short time later. Borders is glad his bicycle wasn't stolen or anything at his house wasn't broken. "It's absolutely crazy. Glad I wasn't there," he said.
The two officers first on the scene were part of Mesa police's Summer Crime Suppression Project. It started about three weeks ago and should last between 30 and 90 days where there are more patrols in some neighborhoods. "What we're doing is targeting specific areas where we've seen a specific uptick in crime or we have stats that say this is where things are going on," said Encinas.