Chandler Officer Murder: Five Suspects Identified; Cops Carried Weed, Not Cash
Five of the six suspects still alive after Wednesday's Miami Vice-style police shootout, that left one officer dead, have been identified.
The suspects: Thadika Singleton, 38, John Webber, 37, Doarnell Jackson, 35, Jerry Wayne Cockhearn, 25, and Eldridge Gittens, 34.
Each have been charged with three counts of first-degree murder, four counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, one count of transporting marijuana with intent to sell, and one count of first-degree burglary.
We've also got some new details as to what went down prior to the shootout.
According to court documents obtained by New Times, Chandler police were contacted by a confidential informant that several men were trying to buy 500 pounds of weed.
Cops wanted to make sure the men had the cash to pay for such a large amount of weed and arranged a meeting.
The informant met with Singleton and Webber at a Burger King near 19th Avenue and Broadway in Phoenix where the two men showed the informant $250,000 in cash.
The informant told police the buyers had seen the cash and the deal was legit. He arranged another meeting with the suspects and undercover officers so the cops could show the suspects a sample of the weed.
The suspects said they liked the weed and arranged a buy spot -- a house near South 23rd Avenue and Vineyard Road in Phoenix.
Undercover officers and the informant went to the house with the 500 pounds of weed in the back of their car and pulled into the garage.
They were met by what court docs say were eight to 12 black men and taken into the house.
This is where the story gets a little vague.
The only thing the court docs indicate, and all the police are willing to say, is that while in the house, someone started shooting, leading to a shootout between cops and the suspects.
In the end, 34-year-old Chandler Officer Carlos L. Ledesma was dead and two other officers were wounded. Two suspects were also wounded in the exchange.
Several of the suspects fled the scene but were later detained by police.
Ledesma had two children.
Anyone who wants to donate money to honor the fallen officer can do so in Wells Fargo account number 9918672768.
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