Late Night Crime Spree Ends In Violent Gun Battle With Police

February 11, 2008

On February 10, 2008 at 9:15 p.m. a suspect later identified as 27-year-old Jaime Martinez of Mesa was shot and killed by police after initiating a gun battle with Mesa and Tempe officers.

The incident began in Tempe shortly after 8:30 p.m. when Martinez and a female accomplice later identified as 34-year-old Sawajee M. Chiquette of Mesa allegedly stole a car at gunpoint. Chiquette and Martinez are then believed to have driven the stolen vehicle into Mesa where they robbed two male juveniles ages 15 and 16 at gunpoint in the area of 800 S. Pasadena. During that incident Chiquette was believed to be the driver of the stolen vehicle. She pulled up next to the victims and Martinez exited the vehicle. Martinez allegedly pointed a gun directly at head of one of the victim’s and told him to give him what he had. Chiquette told the victim to give Martinez the property or Martinez would kill him. The victim turned over some personal property to Martinez. Martinez then pulled the trigger, however the gun did not fire. Martinez then pointed the gun at the other victim’s head and pulled the trigger. Once again the gun did not fire. Martinez and Chiquette then fled the scene in the stolen vehicle. Martinez fired a shot in the air while Chiquette drove the stolen vehicle from the scene.

Mesa and Tempe officers were in the area searching for the suspect vehicle. They were able to locate the vehicle in the area of Standage and Vine in Mesa. Tempe and Mesa officers initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle, but Chiquette refused to stop. As the vehicle traveled through the residential neighborhood Martinez leaned out of the passenger side of the vehicle and fired at least two shots towards the marked police vehicles.

The suspect vehicle slowed down in the area of 7th Drive and Longmore. Martinez and Chiquette immediately exited the vehicle. Martinez fired several shots at Mesa and Tempe police officers. Left with no other choice, Officers from both departments returned fire and struck Martinez who was later pronounced dead at the scene.

Chiquette was taken into police custody without further incident. Chiquette was positively identified as the suspect/driver in the Mesa robbery on Pasadena. She was booked on suspicion of Armed Robbery, Aggravated Assault and Unlawful Flight from Law Enforcement. Her release status is unknown at this time.

No Mesa Police Officers were injured, however a Tempe Police Officer did receive injuries to one of his ankles. As of late last night he was receiving treatment at a local hospital. The injury was caused when another police officer arriving on scene accidentally ran over the Tempe Officers foot. No other injuries were reported, however investigators discovered that at least one residence in the neighborhood was struck by gunfire. No one in that residence was injured.


photo of Sawajee Chiquette photo of Jaime Martinez
Sawajee Chiquette Jaime Martinez



Mesa Police Department
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PO Box 1466
Mesa, AZ 85211

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