Mall police chase stuns holiday shoppers

Posted at: 12/23/2012 8:25 PM
Updated at: 12/23/2012 10:23 PM
By: Maria Guerrero, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Last minute shoppers got quite the scare Sunday afternoon as police ran after a suspicious van in the parking lot of Coronado Center, and two police officers could've lost their lives.

A white van needed a lift after a wild ride at Coronado Center. A ride that left holiday shoppers in a traffic jam and several drivers filling out accident reports instead of wish lists.

"I was just on my way to get some shopping done and then I saw how busy it was so I just decided to go home. Maybe I should've stayed," said Richard Gutierrez of Albuquerque.

The white, beat up van smashed into Gutierrez and two other drivers on Louisiana.

It all started at about 2 p.m. when police were called to the center’s parking lot in the southeast corner.

Police found the suspicious van had a stolen license plate.

When cops tried stopping the van, the driver took off.

The driver, who has been identified as Justin Cordova, hit a couple vehicles in the parking and more on Louisiana. A passenger, Brenda Sedillo, was with Cordova.

"As I pull forward I just see a white van just weaving through traffic and then just hitting as many cars as he can," said Gutierrez.

“The girl and the man jumped out and ran east. The police went running after them," said another victim, Robert Montoya.

APD said an officer ended up with an injured hand or foot after the chase.

Police say Cordova tossed a gun while running and was tased after fighting officers. That gun was detemined to have been stolen.

"It was horrible. Traffic was lined up all the way from here to Menaul,” said Montoya.

Police cleared up the scene at about 4:30 p.m. Sunday.

Police say Cordova is a convicted felon and had a warrant for his arrest. A detective was able to speak with Sedillo who indicated that her and Cordova committed approximately five auto burglaries and eight residential burglaries.

During an interview with Cordova, police said he indicated if he could have reached the hand gun in his van when two officers were approaching him he would have shot them.

The investigation is still ongoing.