Bio & Incident Details
Tour: 16 years
Badge # 747
Incident Date: 1/28/2010
Weapon: Gun; Unknown type
Suspect: Sentenced to life
Lieutenant Eric Shuhandler was shot and killed after stopping a vehicle occupied by two males near the intersection of Val Vista and Baseline Roads, near the border cities of Gilbert and Mesa.
When Lieutenant Shuhandler approached the passenger side of the vehicle to contact the passenger, the passenger fired a single shot, striking Lieutenant Shuhandler in the head.
Two sergeants from the Mesa Police Department heard the shot and found Lieutenant Shuhandler at the same time as Gilbert police received a 911 call reporting the shooting. He was transported to a local hospital where he died from his wound.
The suspects were located minutes later and a 50-mile high-speed chase began along Highway 60, with several units pursuing the pickup through Phoenix-area communities. The suspects fired several rounds and threw objects from their vehicle at the pursuing officers. The vehicle abruptly stopped in the town of Superior, and both suspects were wounded in an exchange of gunfire with officers from four agencies. Both suspects were arrested at the scene.
On October 14, 2010, the driver was convicted of aggravated assault, drive-by shooting, unlawful flight, and sentenced to 107 years in prison. Lieutenant Shuhandler's killer was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life without the possibility of parole on March 21, 2012.
Lieutenant Shuhandler had served with the Gilbert Police Department for 16 years. He had previously served with the Manasquan, New Jersey, Police Department for a year and a half and the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office for two years as a detention officer, and two years as a deputy. He is survived by his two daughters, sister, and parents.