San Jose police chief: Suspect who wounded officer was ‘on quest to kill’ police

SAN JOSE — San Jose police unveiled new information and video Tuesday of an ambush-style shooting of an officer by a suspect who was “on a quest to kill San Jose police officers.”

At a press conference, Police Chief Anthony Mata said the suspect, identified as Noe Orlando Mendoza, had been stalking police officers for hours at three different locations.

The evening/early morning culminated with SWAT officers surrounding Mendoza’s home on the 800 block of Sinbad Ave. at around 3:10 a.m.

During a furry of gunfire, a SWAT officer was wounded. Mendoza then surrendered soon after his final volley of gunshots.

Noe Orlando Mendoza

San Jose Police Department

At the news conference, Mata said surveillance footage has revealed that Mendoza’s car was been seen parked on Friday night near police headquarters. Later, he reportedly appeared on video near an SJPD substation at Mineta San Jose International Airport.

Just before 10:30 p.m., Mendoza was stopped by two patrol officers near a gas station at the intersection of Story and King roads.   

He allegedly opened fire on the officers during the traffic stop. The officers returned fire and hit the suspect’s vehicle as it fled.

“The bullet hole in the patrol car’s windshield, centered where an officer had been only moments before, is as chilling a sight as I have ever seen,” said Mata. 

Scene of shootout between police and a suspect during a traffic stop near Story and King roads in East San Jose on February 3, 2023.

San Jose Police Department

Mata said the suspect had a deliberate intention to kill officers.

“Mendoza’s pattern of stalking San Jose police officers at three locations around the city, gives us some idea of the deliberate, premeditated nature of his intention to kill officers that night.” 

The officer who was shot was part of the department’s Mobile Emergency Response Group and Equipment Unit and was treated at a hospital for a non-life threatening injury. Neither officer at the traffic stop was injured, according to the police department’s statement.

 Scene of shootout between police and a suspect during a traffic stop near Story and King roads in East San Jose on February 3, 2023.

San Jose Police Department

This is a breaking news update. More information to be added as available.

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