Angel Padilla Caught a Month After Allegedly Shooting at (and Missing) Phoenix Cop 37 Times

Phoenix police have arrested a man who's been on the run for more than a month, who allegedly shot at a police officer 37 times, and missed each of those 37 times.

Cops have been looking for 35-year-old Angel Padilla since October 13, after police say he kidnapping his wife, and started shooting at an officer who was patrolling the neighborhood, and -- yet unaware of the kidnapping -- attempted to pull over Padilla for a traffic violation.

According to court documents obtained by New Times, Padilla's estranged wife was headed home from a night with her friends shortly before 3 a.m. October 13, and jealousy issues had Padilla upset that morning.

Padilla had sent his wife text messages saying that he was going to kill her, and her children told her before she got home that Padilla had been at the house.

Padilla's wife told her friends to drop her off down the street from her house, so they wouldn't have to deal with Padilla if he was still there, but Padilla ended up following that car in his own car anyway -- before returning to his wife's house and beating her unconscious, according to the documents.

Padilla dragged his wife into the car and sped off, when a cop in the neighborhood tried to pull him over for blowing through a stop sign. Shortly after the officer said on the radio that he had a vehicle failing to stop for him, Padilla stopped the car, and started shooting, according to the documents.

"He heard gun shots and saw what he described as sparks from bullets hitting the asphalt in front of him," a probable-cause statement says.

The officer drove down the street a bit, and took cover behind the rear quarter-panel of his car, but was never able to return fire before Padilla stopped shooting and drove away.

At the scene, police found 37 bullet casings, which police say were fired from an SKS rifle. Nineteen of those bullets hit the officer's patrol car, many of them in the driver's area of the vehicle. According to court documents, "several" bullets landed in the driver's seat.

Just about an hour after this all started, Padilla's wife was found, and told police that Padilla had let her go. She confirmed that her estranged husband was shooting at the officer, and said Padilla informed her that he would have to killer her and himself for shooting at the cop, the documents state.

Padilla's wife was hospitalized for a burn on her arm, which she got when Padilla accidentally rested the barrel of the rifle on her arm after shooting at the officer, according to the documents.

Police found Padilla's vehicle abandoned later that morning, and found the rifle wrapped in a shirt, in the bed of an unrelated pickup truck a few houses from where he parked his car, according to the documents.

Padilla, however, was not found at the time, and you can bet that police have been searching pretty hard over the last month for a guy who shot at an officer 37 times.

According to the court documents, cops tracked down Padilla's friends and followed through on some tips, which led to Padilla's arrest last night.

He faces charges of attempted first-degree murder, aggravated assault, and possession of a weapon by a prohibited person. His bond was set at $1 million.

Police are also looking into Padilla's possible involvement in other crimes.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley