On January 5, 2011, the U.S. Marshals Service Arizona WANTED Violent Offender Task Force developed information on a suspect identified as Daniel Perez wanted in the attempted murder of two Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) Highway Patrol officers. The information developed indicated he may be tied to a number of armed robberies in the east valley of the Phoenix metropolitan area. This information also identified a specific vehicle involved in the robberies. Yesterday, at approximately 10:00 am, the vehicle, a stolen Kia Sorrento, was found by a task force officer in Mesa and surveillance was initiated. The Kia had been stolen at gunpoint from an elderly woman on Nov. 18, 2010 in the parking lot of Banner Desert Hospital in Mesa. A short time later, a male matching the description of Perez, who was later identified as Adam Hernandez, was observed entering the vehicle. The Task Force officers followed the Kia, while a helicopter from the Mesa Police Department was also used to follow the vehicle. Hernandez then began driving evasively so officers loosened their surveillance and relied on the helicopter to follow the vehicle. Shortly before noon, Hernandez then turned into the Chandler Fashion Center Mall parking lot and quickly exited the vehicle and after a short foot chase, Hernandez shot at the officers. Two task force officers from the Arizona DPS and Mesa Police Department returned fire. Hernandez then fled into Sears where officers lost sight of him.
Local law enforcement and Deputy U.S. Marshals with tactical units and SWAT Teams from Chandler, Mesa, and Tempe Police Departments, Maricopa and Pinal County Sheriff’s Offices and the Arizona DPS, immediately responded to the scene and the mall was initially evacuated and subsequently locked down. At approximately 12:30 PM, an officer observed Hernandez run across Chandler Boulevard and enter the Baja Fresh. Tactical units responded to the restaurant while other officers remained posted in and around the mall. It was determined that Hernandez, was holding a male and two female victims inside the restaurant.
A negotiator from the Mesa Police Department began speaking with Hernandez, who after some time, surrendered to police. Through officers identification of Hernandez, it was determined he was the same person who drove the Kia into the mall and fired at task force personnel. Once this was confirmed, the mall was cleared and the lockdown lifted; the incident was concluded.
The Chandler Police Department oversaw command and control of the overall scene.
The full-time federal, state, and local agencies that comprise the Arizona WANTED Violent Offender Task Force (Phoenix Metro Division) include: U.S. Marshals Service; Immigration and Customs Enforcement; Arizona Department of Public Safety; Maricopa County Adult Probation Office; Mesa Police Department; Arizona Department of Corrections, Surprise Police Department; Chandler Police Department; Tempe Police Department; Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department; and several part-time local law enforcement agencies.
For further information contact Sergeant Joe Favazzo.