Mesa police identify suspect who shot at officers during car chase

Jul 25, 2021, 7:15 AM | Updated: 8:31 am

PHOENIX — Mesa police have identified two suspects who allegedly shot at officers during a car chase on Wednesday, authorities said.

Police said Dane Smith, 26, was seen firing at least nine shots towards officers from a gun through the back of a window of a Cherokee that Thomas Elliot, 53, was driving, according to the probable cause statement on Thursday.

The two men were detained Wednesday afternoon, authorities said.

The incident occurred around 3:30 p.m. near 80th Street and Baseline Road when officers observed Smith standing outside of a vehicle they had probable cause to arrest for car theft charges, the Mesa Police Department said in a press conference.

After officers initiated a traffic stop, Smith jumped into the passenger side of the vehicle and fled with Elliot, police said.

Police said they heard what sounded like a loud gunshot, followed by more shots that hit the detectives truck several times.

Both Smith and Elliot eventually abandoned the vehicle and took off in separate directions, police said.

Police then set up a perimeter and after briefly losing sight of the suspects, both were found and detained.

Upon inspection of the vehicle, police said the back window had been shot out.

The officers did not return gunfire at the men and there were no injuries from the incident, police said.

Police said they received information the suspect may be in the area and responded as part of a crime suppression program that has been operating for three weeks.

Smith faces multiple charges, including aggravated assault on a peace officer, drive by shooting, burglary and misconduct involving weapons.

Elliot has been charged with second-degree criminal trespass, unlawful flight from pursuing law enforcement and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

No additional information was made available.

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