CHANDLER, AZ - A man who allegedly fired shots at law enforcement officers outside a Chandler mall Wednesday has made his first court appearance.
Adam Hernandez, 27, was booked into the Maricopa County Jail on charges of attempted murder, vehicle theft, kidnapping, armed robbery, aggravated assault, and prohibited possessor of a weapon.
Chandler police spokesman Sgt. Joe Favazzo said Hernandez is accused of shooting at a U.S. Marshals task force in the Chandler Fashion Center parking lot around noon.
That shooting forced a multi-hour lockdown of the mall Wednesday.
Favazzo said Wednesday Chandler police believed Hernandez might have robbed a hotel south of the mall and fled to the mall area where he was confronted by the officers. Police said Thursday they don’t believe Hernandez was involved with the armed robbery at the hotel, but are investigating his possible involvement with a number of other armed robberies in the East Valley.
According to court documents, Hernandez had a 40 caliber semi automatic handgun and threatened to shoot officers in the head. He was reportedly driving a stolen vehicle.
He said Hernandez held up the Baja Fresh around 12 p.m. and came out of the restaurant and was arrested around 3 p.m.
Sources told ABC15 two hostages also came out of Baja Fresh at that time.
During much of the day, both the U.S. Marshals Office and Pinal County Sheriff's Office believed the suspect was 25-year-old Daniel Munoz Perez, a man mistakenly released from jail last month. Police are looking into the possibility that Hernandez and Perez were together before Wednesday’s incident.
U.S. Marshals spokesman Tom Henman said his office got some tips that Perez was in a car near Chandler Fashion Center.
When the man in that car realized he was being followed, Henman said he apparently got out of the car and started the shooting/standoff that ensued.
Hernandez fired shots at the U.S. Marshals task force and shots were fired in return just before noon, he said.
No one was hit during the shooting, Favazzo said.
Favazzo said Hernandez then went into the Sears department store, and authorities lost sight of him.
Hernandez got across Chandler Boulevard and ended up at the Baja Fresh moments later, Favazzo said.
Once arrested, though, authorities determined that suspect was not Perez.
Another person was cuffed at the Sears department store at Chandler Fashion Center around 3:30 p.m. but was not related to the Baja Fresh incident, Favazzo said.
The Chandler Police Department said they are now trying to sort out exactly what happened.
Mesa police, Tempe police, and officers with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives assisted in the situation.
Hernandez is being held on a $1 million bond.
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