MESA, AZ - Authorities said the suspect in an overnight carjacking and armed robbery is in serious condition after attempting to evade police by jumping off a freeway bridge.
Sgt. Michael Pooley of the Tempe Police Department said the man was transported to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries.
Police said the suspect allegedly used a stun gun and carjacked a woman around 9 p.m. Thursday at Tempe Marketplace. The suspect stole the woman's 1998 Ford Crown Victoria and fled from the scene.
William, who did not wish to give his last name, saw it all happen when he got off work and met up with his girlfriend in the parking lot. After they came face to face, the suspect stole her car.
"My initial reaction was to back away so he wouldn't tase me, and that's when he closed the door, backed out of the parking lot and pulled away," he said.
The driver then led police on a chase through Phoenix where he evaded capture. Multiple agencies were sent a vehicle description in an attempt to locate him, police said.
Early Friday morning, the suspect allegedly robbed an adult store near Broadway and Ellsworth in east Mesa, said Pooley.
Timothy Lynn was working at the register at Erotic Emporium at the time. He says the suspect came in for about 30 minutes, then left and came back. When he came back, Lynn says he lunged at him with a stun gun and started throwing TVs and anything he could get his hands on at him.
"I could barely stand still, that's how shaken I was," Lynn said.
Then he says the suspect grabbed the register and ran out the door.
Mesa police located the vehicle traveling westbound along the Loop 202 and DPS authorities used stop sticks to disable the vehicle.
Pooley said the vehicle came to a stop near Loop 202 between McClintock and Loop 101. The suspect then left his vehicle and apparently jumped off a nearby bridge, falling approximately eight stories.
Authorities said the area where the suspect fell was an extremely difficult area to get to. Pooley said the suspect was "moving and alive" and was responding to commands, however, wasn't talking with officers.
Authorities did find "several items" from his victims in his possession when he was located, said Pooley.
Police said a woman was also in the vehicle, however, her relationship to the suspect is unknown.
The right lanes on the westbound Loop 202 near McClintock were blocked for several hours through the morning commute. They reopened around 9:30 a.m.