SNOWFLAKE, AZ – An 18-year-old man named Joel Omari Hernandez in Navajo County was taken into police custody on December 2 under suspicion of attempted first-degree murder and assault. The arrest was made after local law enforcement responded to a burglary call that escalated into a shooting incident around 6 a.m. The Snowflake-Taylor Police Department received the call from a location in the vicinity of Main Street and W 7th S Street in Snowflake.
Officers discovered a 39-year-old woman who had been shot in the face. In order to provide immediate medical support for her injuries, the woman was quickly transported to Show Low’s Summit Regional Hospital. The suspect was described as a man wearing a black sweater coupled with white sweatpants.
In seeking the suspect, officers were approached by a man claiming that his roommate, who was inside their apartment, was involved in the incident. Actions were immediately initiated to surround the apartment and evacuate nearby residents. The road was closed for safety and commands were issued to the suspect to surrender.
By 8 a.m., Hernandez willingly surrendered without disclosing any details concerning the sequence of events leading up to the shooting. Upon being taken into custody, Hernandez was booked on charges of first-degree burglary, attempted first-degree murder, and aggravated assault involving a deadly weapon. Officers found a 9mm handgun in the apartment occupied by Hernandez.
The serious nature of the woman’s injuries necessitated her transfer to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix where she is currently in critical condition.