Scottsdale Police investigate shooting at Walgreens


A Walgreens employee was shot during a brazen Christmas day armed robbery. 

It happened in the middle of the afternoon in front of several customers at a Walgreens in Scottsdale.

The shooter then led police on a chase before crashing his car.

The cashier is lucky to be alive tonight, and the man who police say pulled the trigger is behind bars.

Witnesses say the gunman walked out of the Walgreens after the shooting with cash and guns in his hands. He didn’t get very far after a short chase officers took the suspect into custody about a mile and a half away.

Shoppers picking up last minute Christmas gifts at Walgreens ended up witnessing the robbery. 

“He walked out with a handful of money and a gun,” said Alex Valenzuela. Valenzuela was waiting in the parking lot while his brother was shopping inside. “He was walking in to get some flowers when he heard a gunshot and stood still, and the guy that shot the cashier walked out and got in his car and left.”

Police say the gunman fired one shot inside the store; the bullet hit an employee. That employee was taken to the hospital, and a second employee that was shaken up was also taken to the hospital. No customers were hurt.

“It’s kind of scary because the guy inside could’ve shot my brother,” said Valenzuela.

Witnesses were able to give Scottsdale Police a description of the gunman and his car. The suspect led police on a short chase onto the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community. 

Aron Mezo was about to get on the 101 at Thomas when he saw the suspect’s car going the wrong way on the 101 on-ramp, driving fast and out of control.

“Just went skidding across the whole bridge and barrelled right into a power transformer which blew up sparking, and in an instant there were people cars from every angle with guns drawn, assault rifles out, screaming at the guy to get out of the car…  they were yelling at him to freeze, then get out of the car, and do not move you will get shot,” said Aron Mezo.

The suspect was not hurt badly in the crash, and police took him into custody. No other cars were involved in the crash. 

Scottsdale Police say the suspect failed to negotiate the turn as he was trying to turn left to get on the Loop 101 southbound. 

The employee who was shot is expected to be okay.

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