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Updated Aug 23, 2013 - 6:45 pm

Police: Cab driver stops in Mesa intersection after being shot

PHOENIX -- A cab driver was shot Friday after picking up a fare in Mesa, police said.

The victim called 911 about 12:35 p.m. and told police he believed he had been shot by the suspect, 28-year-old Matthew Howardell, whom he picked up in the 500 block of W. Ninth Place.

"They were having a conversation and had barely left that area when he heard a loud pop," said Mesa Police Sgt. Tony Landato.

Howardell got out, fired one more shot and then ran off.

The 46-year-old cab driver sped away and called 911.

"We were trying to get him to pull over and eventually he came to rest at Alma School and Broadway," said Landato.

Howardell was located in the area of the shooting. He was arrested on an unrelated warrant and, following police interviews, named the suspect in the shooting. He was charged with aggravated assault. More charges could be brought.

Police said they have recovered a gun and clothing that likely belong to Howardell.

In a statement, Discount Cab said it was working with police. The company also said the cab driver was shot in the head, but police would not confirm the extent of the driver's injuries.

The driver, a black male, was taken to a local hospital for surgery.

Anyone with information on this shooting is asked to contact the Mesa Police Department at (480) 644-2211.

About the Author

Martha is the traffic controller in the KTAR newsroom. Her full time role is that of Assignment and Breaking News Editor of KTAR News. She oversees daily Breaking News planning and over-the air execution, and puts together the elements that make it happen. She gathers and distributes daily news assignments to reporters and editors. She also reports on a daily basis, anchors news afternoons 1-2p and fills in as anchor occasionally during other time slots. She began working at KTAR in the winter of 2012 as Desk Editor and was promoted to oversee Assignments and Breaking News in 2014. During that time, she received two awards as a journalist. The first was the 2013 APTRA Awards, where she took home 2nd place for Best Serious Future in the "Recycled Orchestra." The second was a 2014 Edward R. Murrow Award for her collaboration in KTAR's Voice for a Better Arizona Series: Immigration - seeking solutions. In her piece, Martha profiled two Arizona sisters looking for the DREAM. Martha was born in Mazatlan, Mexico. She moved to Arizona in 1996 with her parents and younger sister and has lived here since. She attended Barry Goldwater High School in Phoenix and graduated from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University in Tempe. Prior to working at KTAR news she worked in news and production at Univision Arizona in Phoenix. She also supervised the marketing, catering and public relations department at Hotel Araiza, 5-star hotel in Mexicali, Mexico. She has also been a personal trainer and aerobics instructor. When she isn't in the newsroom or behind the microphone Martha is an avid gym-goer and marathoner. She trains for two races a year and enjoys taking group exercise classes, such as kickboxing, indoor cycling and weight lifting. Martha is married and lives in Surprise, AZ with 2 dogs, Tasha and Elsa, and a cat, Sammy.


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