Man dead in officer-involved shooting was suspect in Queen Creek stabbing incident, Mesa police say

Cesar Julian Hernandez Enriquez (Courtesy Mesa Police Department)

Cesar Julian Hernandez Enriquez (Courtesy Mesa Police Department)

A man wanted for his involvement in a homicide that took place May 12 in Queen Creek was shot and killed later that day, according to the Mesa Police Department.

The suspect — Cesar Julian Hernandez Enriquez, 27, of Gilbert — was killed during an officer-related shooting with Mesa police that took place at 10:15 p.m. Tuesday, May 12, in the 300 block of South Pioneer in Mesa.

Mesa police learned that Enriquez was wanted for his involvement in a fatal stabbing in Queen Creek earlier that morning. That homicide is being investigated by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Division, according to a press release.

The stabbing took place that morning at 20830 E. Pickett St., near Ocotillo and Ellsworth roads in the Queen Creek Town Center, according to an MCSO Twitter post. Deputies has asked drivers to avoid the area.

The suspect in the stabbing was described as a Hispanic male in his 20’s with a slim build and wearing a red shirt, according to a post on the Twitter feed of the MCSO public information officer Deputy Enriquez.

The victim was Lindsay Esparza,  28, according to Deputy Enriquez’s posts. She was transported to Chandler Regional Medical Center, were she died from her injuries, according to the post.

All schools in the Queen Creek Unified School District schools were placed on lock down during the investigation as a precautionary measure, according to the school district.
Involvement by the Mesa police was aided by public input, according to the release.

“Multiple 9-1-1 callers reported shots fired in the area of the incident,” Mesa Police Detective Esteban Flores, public information officer, said in the release. “When officers arrived,

Enriquez fled on foot and discharged his firearm in the back yard of a residence. He continued to flee eastbound through two residential yards. He was confronted by an officer on South Pioneer Road and ordered to put down the gun. Enriquez did not comply and threatened to shoot himself, before turning and running back towards pursuing officers. At that point, one officer fired his duty-weapon at Enriquez,” he said in the release.

“The initial investigation revealed that Enriquez sustained a single gunshot to his upper body.

The wound is consistent with having been self-inflicted,” Detective Flores said in the release.

Confirmation on the cause of death is pending the results of the forensic medical examination and subsequent criminal investigation. The investigation into the shooting and motive is ongoing, police said.

The Queen Creek Independent is mailed each month to 35,000 homes.

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