Thursday a Gilbert, Arizona police officer was murdered during a routine traffic stop, a crime that precipitated a violent 50 mile chase up a winding two lane mountain road that ended in a gunfight that can best be described as something out of a Hollywood movie.

Police Lieutenant Eric Shuhandler was a father of two, and a sixteen year veteran with the Gilbert Police Department. Prior to that, Lieutenant Shuhandler worked three years as a detention officer with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. His loss is a blow not only to his family and his police department, but to the entire community.

The incident began when Lieutenant Shuhandler stopped a truck occupied by two men for an obscured license plate. One of those men, Christopher Redondo, was wanted on a warrant. Police say Redondo shot Lieutenant Shuhandler once in the head as he approached the passenger side of the truck. Two civilians witnessed the murder and ran to the fallen officers’ aid, using his radio to call for help.

The killers led police on a wild chase east on U.S. Highway 60 involving dozens of police cars. They fired shots at the pursuing officers, threw tools, and even an air compressor out of their truck, disabling several police cars along the way. Then, near the small community of Superior, Arizona they stopped their truck on the middle of the highway, jumped out, and fired at police officers. In the shootout that followed, both Redondo and Daimen Irizarry, who was driving the truck, were both hit in the legs. Police described their wounds as non-life threatening. Fortunately, no other police officers or civilians were injured in the chase and shooting.

Both Redondo and Irizarry have prior records for violence. Redondo had served prison time for child abuse, domestic violence, stalking, and aggravated assault. Police said he had assaulted police officers in the past. Irizarry also has a history of domestic violence, according to police.

So a good man is gone, and now the justice system will slowly grind forward. Hopefully Lieutenant Shuhandler’s murderers will eventually be convicted of their heinous crime, and they will get the death penalty they so richly deserve. Then maybe, years from now, they will be executed. But not before millions of taxpayer dollars are wasted on their defense, on trials and appeals, and in feeding and caring for these animals. Why? What purpose does allowing them to live one more day serve?

It would have been better for everybody if the brave cops who engaged them in the gun battle on that lonely stretch of highway had aimed higher and killed these worthless maggots then and there. But they didn’t, because that’s what separates them from the vermin they protect all of us from.

Rest in peace, Lieutenant Shuhandler.

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11 Comments on They Should Have Aimed Higher

  1. Tom in Ohio says:

    In the early 1970’s a friend stopped by early in the evening of his shift to see me. He was a Sgt on the local sheriffs dept and I was a police officer in my home town and working too. Bill was the kind of guy everyone wanted as a friend and Bill loved kids. While we were talking he received a dispatch of a young man walking along one of the county roads carrying a shot gun and neighbors were concerned. No it was not hunting season. Bil left and went to check on it. 40 minutes later he was shot by that teenager and we all lost a fine man. Amen Nick to todays blog.

  2. Bob Derivan says:

    This incident just shows how right you were “Bad Nick” in your post a few days ago about the quick and permanent enforcement of justice to convicted criminals. I have two sons and a daughter-in-law on the Mesa PD and worry about them every day they go to work.

  3. Ken Harris says:

    If they were shot in the legs, they must have still able to move and thus a threat. Why did the officers quit shooting? I have absolutely no pity for anyone shooting at police officers doing their job.

  4. concerned in Texas says:

    We didn’t win World War II by aiming low.

    Law enforcement frequently uses the term “war on crime.” In violent situations such as this I believe that police need to raise their sights.

  5. Frank Serrao says:

    I have the same complaint with the leadership in Washington that panders to the terrorists at Guantanamo. We have to give them all the rights of American citizens and we have to be careful not to hurt or offend them. Years of trials and millions of dollars later – why? This is one of the reasons Scott rown won in Mass. We’re too soft on crime, too eager to bow down to our enemies overseas, who are only laughing at America’s weakness today.

  6. Frank Serrao says:

    I have the same complaint with the leadership in Washington that panders to the terrorists at Guantanamo. We have to give them all the rights of American citizens and we have to be careful not to hurt or offend them. Years of trials and millions of dollars later – why? This is one of the reasons Scott Brown won in Mass. We’re too soft on crime, too eager to bow down to our enemies overseas, who are only laughing at America’s weakness today.

  7. Connie Braidh says:

    Yes, aim higher. Unfortunately when a police officer kills someone in the line of duty, there is a BIG investigation of the police officer. While making sure he did the right thing is OK, this causes police to be hesitant to kill someone because of the huge mess after wards. This concern puts the life of the police officer in danger more than it already is. Criminals have more rights than police officers now. This is one of the many things wrong with our system these days.

  8. I for one would have aimed higher, but your second to last line says it all Nick: “But they didn’t, because that’s what separates them from the vermin they protect all of us from.”

    The same thing applies to trials for terrorists or war criminals – that is what separates us from the animals. It is not weakness, it is standing up for what we believe in! Sure it is hard to do sometimes, but freedom and integrity are always hard.

    God bless Lieutenant Shuhandler and the countless others who keep our society safe and sane.

  9. Amen to the emotional responses above, and Amen Plus to Dennis. We have righteous anger about the way it’s done, but we have restraint in handling the situation. There’s gotta be a better way between the mortally violent reaction we seem to crave and the coddling that is given instead. Yes, shorten the time for appeals, keep the criminals in lockdown without so many creaure comforts, and — if there has to be capital punishment — get ‘er done!

  10. lock em up for sure>>In one of those old open cells at the Yuma Prison, feed em bread & water, and call Judge Roy Bean for their trail Next week !!! They deserve only the very best….

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