SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) — Court documents filed Wednesday revealed new details about a man charged with attempting to murder four San Jose police officers.
A Statement of Facts written by SJPD, and released by the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office, describes the alleged “quest to kill” that the suspect, Luis Alberto Cantu a.k.a. Noe Mendoza, 38, of San Jose, embarked on. The statement includes information police have gathered including police reports, witness and victim statements, body cam footage, physical evidence and surveillance footage.
The statement alleges that Friday around 10:29 p.m., two SJPD officers conducted a vehicle enforcement stop on a white Toyota in the area of Story Road and King Road. Officers used the sirens and police lights to carry out the traffic stop.
The driver allegedly pulled to the side of the road, exited his vehicle and began firing at the two officers. The bullets struck the patrol vehicle, and traveled in the direction of both officers, according to police.
Both officers returned fire, and the suspect then fled the scene in his vehicle. Neither of the officers were injured in the shooting. After reviewing license-plate reader systems, police learned that the white Toyota had been caught on camera driving next to the police car only a moment before gunfire was exchanged.
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Later, a third SJPD officer reported that he attempted to contact the occupant of a suspicious white Toyota parked inside of the San Jose Mineta Airport parking lot. The officer stated he saw the car around 8:45 p.m., and the driver fled the scene as the officer approached.
After police completed a DMV records check, they learned that the vehicle was registered to Mendoza, at an address in San Jose. SJPD set up surveillance operations outside of the suspect’s residence.
Around 1 a.m. on Saturday, officers saw a man who matched the suspect’s description walking back to the residence. By 3 a.m., officers surrounded the home to prevent the suspect’s escape, and they called out the people inside. Moments later, a drone caught a glimpse of the suspect hopping a fence into a neighbor’s yard.
Police say the suspect then stood on top of the fence and fired towards the officers. One officer was hit twice, once in the hip and once in his bulletproof vest; he was taken to a local hospital for treatment. The suspect was eventually taken into custody before being interviewed and booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail.
I believe based on police reports, witness and victim interviews, surveillance video, body worn camera footage, and our continued investigation that Luis Alberto Cantu is responsible for the attempted murder of four San Jose Police OfficersDetective Sergeant Juan Vallejo, SJPD Homicide Unit
Police later reported that the gun was an unregistered firearm, otherwise known as a ghost gun. Mendoza has several aliases, according to authorities. He has criminal history in Los Angeles, Oregon and Arizona, primarily for drug and weapons-related charges.
The felony complaint against Cantu was also shared by police. Cantu faces four counts of attempted murder, with enhancements for attacking peace officers. He could serve 20 years to life for each of the four attempted murder charges if convicted.