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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.

Martha Maurer, News Editor

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