PHOENIX (KSAZ) - The suspect who was killed following one of the most dramatic police chase in Phoenix may be linked to a murder that took place in Ahwatukee early Wednesday morning.
The chase came to an end at the intersection of Dove Valley Road and Valley Parkway. SkyFOX was over the scene when the chase came to its deadly end. An undercover SUV was seen ramming the suspect, who was in a yellow sports car.
At some point prior to the chase, the man, identified as 25-year-old Todd Munson, accidentally shot himself, and following the chase, he was shot by police.
The first carjacking took place at an apartment complex near 63rd Avenue and Bell Road, and the second carjacking took place at 7th Avenue and Union Hills. The second carjacking happened at gunpoint, and involved the yellow sports car the suspect was seen driving in, during the pursuit.
The second carjacking happened in front of a barbershop, where the first carjacked vehicle, described as a truck, reportedly ran through the front of the shop. The owner of the barbershop was inside at the time of the carjacking, and was just finished with a customer, five minutes before the truck rammed the store. The storefront was damaged, as a result.
"I said, 'stop! stop! stop!'" recounted the owner. "I jumped, because he came to me! If I don't jump, I don't know what would happen."
According to police, the truck was stolen from Glendale. According to the barbershop owner, he could see the driver was already injured.
"This guy was bleeding," recounted the owner of the shop. "[There was] blood in the car. Everywhere almost."
The barbershop owner said his business has only been open for four months. He also said after the incident happened, he had to turn away a lot of customers. He did say, however, he will open for business on Thursday.
The driver was seen driving fast and recklessly at times. At times during the pursuit, the driver plowed through crowded intersections, and even drove the wrong way.
The pursuit came to an end in the area of Valley Parkway and Dove Valley Road. The suspect was driving the wrong way at the time, and was seen trying to merge back to the northbound lanes. Instead, the driver swerved and fishtailed. Officers moved in with force, with an undercover car seen ramming the the side of the sports car, which pushed it into a light pole.
Officers then surrounded the car, with weapons drawn. Construction workers nearby were seen ducking down behind an excavator. Several minutes later, officers moved in, and pulled the suspect from the car, after which the sports car caught on fire.
"He began some erratic driving and showed some behaviors that were dangerous to the public," said one police officer at the scene. "So, our special assignments unit, or SWAT team, intervened. We made contact with the suspect here at North Valley Parkway and Dove Valley Road. Shots were fired, and the suspect has been pronounced dead at the scene."
According to officers at the scene, a weapon was located inside the yellow sports car. Two officers reportedly fired their weapons.
The intersection was closed down following the crash, and did not reopen until approximately 9:30 to 10:00 p.m. The suspect's body was removed from the area during the evening hours, as was the sports car involved.
Earlier, investigators were seen flying a drone around the area, as a way to help with the investigation.
People in the area said they are still stunned by what happened.
"I realized something was wrong as soon as I heard the crash, but what caught my eye was the helicopters, and then the screeching of the tires." said one man working in the area. "I wish I wouldn't have seen it."
"You'd say something like this can't happen here," said one area resident. You know, you see it on TV, but it's not, you know, it doesn't feel real. It happens. It could happen anywhere."
Chase Possibly Connected To Early Morning Murder
The chase came to a deadly end Wednesday afternoon, but it may trace its beginnings to an apartment complex dozens of miles away, in Ahwatukee. Early Wednesday morning, Phoenix Police received a 911 call from residents at the complex, who heard gunshots. When police entered one of the units, they found a man shot and killed.
"I looked it up online and I was shocked, very surprised," said Char Benz, whose mother lives in the apartment complex. "They're neighborly, and I haven't heard of any sort of issue like this at all."
The suspect managed to leave the area before police arrived. Early on, Phoenix Police were quick to note in the investigation that drug activity may be involved.
Some neighbors said they were not surprised.
"They always have people going in and out of that house but I'm not sure," said Nicholas Hager, who has lived at the apartment complex for five years. "I stay away from them."