Two felony counts of aggravated assault have been added to the list of charges against a burglary suspect in connection to the November shooting of a police officer.
A Pima County Grand Jury was presented with information related to the shooting earlier this month and determined additional felony charges — aggravated assault with serious injury and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon — were warranted against 29-year-old Richard “Ricky” Mendoza Jr., Sgt. Maria Hawke, spokeswoman for the Tucson Police Department, said in a press release.
Mendoza Jr., who had previously been charged with two counts of first degree burglary and six counts of prohibited possessor of a firearm, is suspected of shooting Sgt. Robert Carpenter Nov. 18.
Carpenter and other officers were responding to a burglary call in midtown when the sergeant was struck in the head by a bullet.
Mendoza Jr., who remains in custody at the Pima County jail, was arrested in connection with the break-in at the home where Carpenter was shot, but he was not, initially, charged in connection with the shooting. A handgun did not turn up in a search of Mendoza’s property, according to a warrant.
Carpenter, a father of two, who was 46 at the time of the shooting, is a 12-year veteran of the Tucson Police Department. He was released from the hospital in December, but has not returned to work.
“He remains in continuing outpatient physical therapy,” Hawke said.