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Mesa PD: DNA connects man shot, killed by officers to nail salon homicide

Mesa PD involved in shooting in east Mesa
Mesa PD involved in shooting in east Mesa
Posted at 12:42 PM, Mar 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-04 00:25:22-05

The Mesa Police Department says DNA testing has connected an officer-involved shooting suspect to the Mesa nail salon homicide.

The suspect, 36-year-old Christopher Race, was shot and killed by officers near Ellsworth and Baseline roads around 12:15 p.m. Friday.

Mesa police said they recently received a tip on a possible suspect in the deadly stabbing that happened on February 2 at a nail salon.

The stabbing happened at Premier Nails and Spa at Ellsworth and Baseline roads. Once inside, the suspect stabbed Lindsey Eastridge and fled from the scene.

Officers say they tried to make contact with Race on Friday after receiving a tip, but when they approached, he was armed with a knife. 

In a release, police say officers fired "less-lethal" beanbag rounds, but they were unsuccessful in stopping Race. Race was armed with a knife and continued to advance towards police, forcing one of the officers to fire his gun.

Race died on scene, police say.

Mesa police say DNA testing confirmed a match between Race and blood evidence collected at the nail salon homicide scene. Police executed a search warrant and found several knives among other evidence. Further testing will be done to determine if any of those knives were used in the homicide.

Lindsey Eastridge's family came to the scene Friday afternoon.

"Today I think is going to help a little bit," said Eastridge's sister, Carla Webber. "This past month has been terrible, it's been absolutely awful."

Only a few hundred yards separate the locations of Friday's officer-involved shooting and Eastridge's murder last month. 

"She's absolutely incredible and this shouldn't happen to anybody," Webber said. 

RELATED: Map of all reported officer-involved shootings in the Phoenix area in 2018

No officers were injured in the shooting, according to police. 

Police are continuing to investigate.