Flagstaff Police Department (FPD) distributed an updated media brief Monday afternoon regarding the case of 18-year-old Jose Ernesto Padilla. The report was approved for immediate release by public information officer Charles Hernandez II.
The Lumberjack previously reported Padilla's alleged aggravated assault charge, officer pursuit and subsequent hostage situation Saturday, which concluded with his admission into Flagstaff Medical Center (FMC).
According to the updated news release, Padilla was treated, cleared and released from FMC with non-life-threatening injuries. Following the end of his hospitalization, Padilla was booked into Coconino County Detention Facility (CCDF) for numerous criminal charges.
"[Padilla was booked] on several charges including attempted homicide, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, endangerment and weapons misconduct," Hernandez stated in the media release.
FPD reports that Padilla first committed aggravated assault Sept. 14, when he threatened multiple victims with a gun.
One week later on Sept. 21, Saturday's incident began with Padilla's residential trespass on East Maple Avenue. Padilla had already left the area upon officer arrival, but numerous accounts of the subject's appearance were provided. The police continued to search for him.
According to the news release, a citizen flagged down officers to report a subject who had emerged from an alley with a gun. The citizen provided an account of the subject's appearance, which matched previous reports regarding Padilla. Shortly after, he was observed running toward El Tapatio, a Mexican restaurant on East Arrowhead Avenue.
Around 1 p.m., employees at El Tapatio notified police officers that Padilla was hiding in a metal storage box behind the restaurant. FPD recommended an evacuation of the surrounding area, and negotiation efforts ensued.
"After coming out with a gun to his head, Padilla went back in the storage container, shutting the door," Hernandez stated in the release. "It took a little over an hour for [the Emergency Services Response Team] to arrive and engage Padilla with trying to convince him to surrender."
The media release states that discussions between emergency services and Padilla continued for over an hour. At 4:00 p.m., upon receiving no surrender, tear gas was shot into the storage container. Padilla began discharging his weapon toward responders, and four officers retaliated with gunfire.
Padilla was eventually removed from the storage unit with no serious wounds, and Officer Jordan Schiffman was also transported to FMC for shrapnel-induced injuries.
"The four members of the SWAT Team who fired their weapons in response to Padilla firing his gun at them are Sgt. Collin Seay, Officer Christopher Waters, Officer Ryan Priest and Officer Matthew Beckham," Hernandez stated in the media release. "The officers have been placed on administrative leave as is routine in an officer involved shooting investigation."
According to the news release, the Northern Arizona Shoot Team is conducting further criminal investigations, and the Coocnino County Sheriff's Office has the lead. Additionally, as stated by Hernandez, FPD wants to thank the employees of El Tapatio for their assistance and support.