The Main Stream

Jan 10, 2014 7:51 PM by Rebecca Taylor

TPD Sergeant shot in the head, testifies at accused gunman's trial

TUCSON - It's day four in the trial of Richard 'Ricky' Mendoza. He's accused of shooting Tucson Police Sergeant Robert Carpenter in the head during a burglary, it was November of 2012. Sgt. Carpenter survived and late Friday took the stand against Mendoza.

Mendoza sat in court with his hands folded, listening to state witness testimony. He's charged with assault, burglary and multiple counts of prohibited possession of a firearm.

When it was Sgt. Carpenters turn to take the stand, it was evident how remarkable his physical and speech recovery has been, considering the large scar on the right side of his head above his ear.

Sgt. Carpenter says he recalls the moments before and after being shot, and describes it as both confusing and shocking. He testified that he was still alert, and remembers fellow officers moving him to safety inside a patrol car. That's when Sgt. Carpenter himself got on the police radio and dispatched communications on two separate occasions, before comrades told him to rest as an ambulance was called.

He's now back at work on light duty, but says visual impairment stops him from driving a patrol car.

The trial resumes Tuesday.


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