Richard Mendoza Jr.


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, 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 on 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, who remains 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 department.

He was released from a hospital in December but has not returned to work.

"He remains in continuing outpatient physical therapy," Hawke said.

Contact reporter Kimberly Matas at or at 573-4191.