Man killed by semitruck in Yuma police chase after reported carjackings

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A man was fatally struck by a semitruck on Wednesday in Yuma County after a police chase that started with multiple carjackings, police said.

Police said they suspect Alfredo Panduro Zendejas, 44, of stealing firearms and vehicles before the fatal police chase where he reportedly fired at an Arizona Department of Public Safety vehicle.

At around 7:45 a.m., the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office received a report about the theft of a large water truck and the theft of two firearms near Araby Road and County 9½ Street in Yuma, Yuma police said. Sometime before 9:12 a.m., police said Zendejas threatened a woman with a gun while trying to carjack her on East 40th Street near East County 12th Street.

Around 10 a.m., police said they believe Zendejas carjacked an Acura in an Arizona Western College parking lot, having threatened another woman with a gun and leaving behind the stolen water truck, according to police. The stolen Acura was spotted around 10:41 a.m. in the area of 16th Street and Pacific Avenue, police detailed.

Somerton police pursued the Acura around 3:57 p.m. northbound on Avenue 3E, with law enforcement from other agencies joining the chase, according to Yuma police. The pursuit pushed onto Interstate 8 eastbound to Foothills Boulevard, then westbound on North Frontage Road, going south on Avenue 8E and eastbound on South Frontage Road, police detailed.

While on South Frontage, there was a crash at Fortuna Road, but the Acura continued to Foothills Boulevard, west on North Frontage Road and then north on Fortuna Road to Highway 95 westbound, according to police.

At 16th Street and Pate Drive, police said Zendejas abandoned the Acura and fled on foot northbound and shot at a DPS vehicle.

Police said Zendejas then carjacked a Hyundai Accent sedan from a woman in her 70s on East 15th Place near East Monroe Street. During the carjacking, he shot a gun twice near the woman and a passenger, according to police.  Neither were injured, police added.

Law enforcement continued to pursue Zendejas until he crashed into a semitruck at the intersection of County 15th Street and Avenue 3E, according to police.

Zendejas was pronounced dead on the scene, police said.

There were no other reported injuries from the crash. Police said Zendejas had “an extensive violent criminal history.”

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call Yuma police at 928-373-4700 or call 928-78C-RIME (2-7463) to remain anonymous. Information leading to an arrest may earn tipsters a $1,000 cash reward.