Aggravated Assault – Deadly Weapon / Officer Involved Shooting (P19-14324)
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz.- On September 21, 2019, at approximately 12:14, Officers with the Flagstaff Police Department were dispatched to a report of a residential trespass in progress on the east side of Flagstaff on East Maple Ave. The suspect was reported to be on the roof of the residence attempting to enter the home. When the officer arrived, the suspect had already left the residence, but the victims were able to provide a description of the suspect. This description was relayed to other officers in the area who began to search for the suspect. As officers were searching the area, they were flagged down by a citizen who indicated they saw a man come out of an alley carrying a gun. The description of the man with a gun matched the description of the trespassing suspect.
Earlier the same day, officers had responded to the area of North Center Street and East Colanthe Ave., for a report of a suspicious person running around and jumping walls and holding something in the pocket of his hoodie. The description of the suspicious person also matched the description of the trespassing suspect.
A person matching this description was seen in the parking lot of the Tractor Supply, and then observed running across Arrowhead Ave. through the Arrowhead Lodge parking lot and jumping the fence heading towards the El Tapatio restaurant.
At approximately 1:00pm officers arrived at the restaurant and were told by employees that a person matching the suspect’s description had entered a metal storage conex box located behind the restaurant. Officers surrounded the storage container and used a patrol car public address system to give commands to the suspect to come out. After approximately thirty minutes the person inside the storage container opened the door and the officers observed a man, who was later identified at Jose Padilla, with a gun in his hand aiming it at his head.
Padilla was wanted for committing an aggravated assault where he had threatened the victims with a gun on September 14, 2019. The detective investigating that case was also told Padilla had made comments he planned to commit suicide by cop. After coming out with the gun to his head, Padilla went back into the storage container shutting the door. Officers asked the employees and patrons of the restaurant to evacuate the area for their safety, and the decision was made to call in the Emergency Services Response Team to include the Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT) and the Crisis Negotiation Team (CNT) to negotiate his surrender.
It took a little over an hour for the Teams to arrive and engage with Padilla trying to convince him to surrender himself to the officers. The negotiators repeatedly told Padilla they did not want to hurt him, nor did they want him to hurt himself. After another hour and a half of negotiations and repeated efforts to convince Padilla to put the gun down and come out of the storage container, he was warned if he did not surrender, they would fill the storage container with tear gas. At approximately 4:00 pm a SWAT team member shot tear gas into the storage container. Padilla then pointed his gun out of the door towards the officers and began shooting at them. Four members of the SWAT team returned fire. Padilla then again fired at the officers who responded with a second volley of shots.
Padilla was removed from the storage unit and the Flagstaff Fire Department Medics, who are members of the SWAT Team, began providing medical treatment to Padilla who sustained nonlife-threatening injuries. Padilla was transported to the hospital where he was treated, released, and booked into the Coconino County Detention Facility on several charges including attempted homicide, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, endangerment, and weapons misconduct.
Officer Jordan Schiffman was injured by shrapnel during the exchange of gunfire and was transported to the hospital. 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. The Officers have been placed on administrative leave as is routine in an officer involved shooting investigation. The Northern Arizona Shoot Team is conducting the criminal investigation with the Coconino County Sherriff’s Office taking the lead.
The Northern Arizona Multi-Agency Officer Involved Shooting Investigation Team would like the thank the owners, managers, and employees of El Tapatio for their cooperation during the investigation.