Assailants shoot armored van driver in Mesa - East Valley Tribune: Mesa

Assailants shoot armored van driver in Mesa

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Posted: Friday, September 15, 2006 4:14 pm | Updated: 3:24 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Two male assailants shot an armored van driver Friday afternoon in an attempted robbery near Southern Avenue and Stapley Drive, Mesa police said. The victim chased the suspects' vehicle with his van while calling police. The suspects have not been apprehended.

About 2 p.m., the 34-year-old man was sitting in the Ford van's driver's seat in a business district near the 1600 block of South Solomon, Mesa police spokesman Sgt. Chuck Trapani said.

The driver had been cashing checks for job site employees, Trapani said.

As the man was wrapping things up, two men wearing fluorescent green shirts approached the driver's side door and tried to pull the driver out of the vehicle.

One shot was fired into the open door and hit the driver, Trapani said. A second shot hit the van's windshield and appears to have ricocheted before shattering the driver's side mirror.

The two men then fled in a black Chevy stepside pickup truck, but the driver of the van wasn't far behind.

While chasing the truck, he called police. "He was on the phone giving us a play by play," Trapani said.

The pursuit took the driver west to Horne, then then north to Southern Avenue where the vehicles traveled east before the armored van driver lost them, Trapani said.

The pickup truck, which could have rear-end damage, was last seen heading south on Stapley Drive near Southern Avenue.

The van came to a stop on South Spur in the 1400 block of East Southern Avenue.

The driver of the van was flown by helicopter to a local hospital. Trapani did not say where the driver was shot but said the injuries were not life threatening

Police at the scene said the injured driver chased the assailants, who fled about 2 p.m. without taking any money. The foiled robbers remained at large on Friday afternoon.

Police said the van was at a job site where customers were cashing payday checks. Investigators did not immediately release the name of the armored van driver or characterize the seriousness of his injuries.

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