Mesa PD: Suspect's gun misfired before suspect was shot by officer Tuesday

Police involved in shooting in Mesa
Posted at 12:13 PM, Jun 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-20 23:53:19-04

Mesa police are investigating after an officer shot a suspect wanted in connection to a stolen vehicle and armed robbery. 

Police were called before noon Tuesday in reference to a speeding vehicle that was wanted in connection to an armed robbery earlier in the morning. The caller was the victim in the armed robbery and recognized the suspects in the speeding gray Buick as she was driving near Main and Extension.

Officers in the area responded and pursued the vehicle until it crashed into a chainlink fence near 9th Street and Westwood. A man and woman were seen running from the Buick by the pursuing officers.

The suspects were eventually found in a backyard where the female suspect surrendered.

Officials said the male suspect, 18-year-old Joseph Villafan, ran towards an officer while carrying a gun. Villafan's gun was pointed forward when he encountered the officer in a backyard, which led to the officer shooting the man, police said.

Police say Villafan tried to fire his weapon at one point but it malfunctioned.

Villafan was taken to the hospital and released on Wednesday. He was immediately taken into custody and will be charged with aggravated assault, possession of a weapon by a prohibited possessor, discharging a firearm in city limits, theft of means of transportation, leaving the scene of an accident, criminal damage, and criminal trespassing. 

Police say the female passenger will not be charged with any crime.

No officers were injured during the incident.

The car the suspect was driving was confirmed to be a stolen vehicle out of Phoenix. 

This is the 47th officer-involved shooting in the Valley this year, and the ninth officer-involved shooting in Mesa.