Arizona lawmaker seeks public’s help identifying shooter who paralyzed her 15 years ago

Arizona state Rep. Jennifer Longdon, D-Phoenix, was paralyzed after being hit by random gunfire in 2004. She plans to introduce a package of gun-control bills and believes most state residents are ready, if not all state lawmakers.
/Photo by Megan U. Boyanton/Cronkite News

By Perry Vandell | Arizona Republic 

Arizona lawmaker Jennifer Longdon can still hear the gunshot that paralyzed her from the chest down. She was going out to eat with her fiance, David, on Nov. 15, 2004 when a pickup truck sideswiped their car in a parking lot of a taco shop in Phoenix.

Seconds later, someone inside the truck fired gunshots. Longdon was struck in the back. Her fiance, a Taekwondo champion and martial-arts instructor, was shot in the head and shoulder.

David suffered severe brain damage. Longdon would never walk again. The truck with the shooter fled the scene.

That was 15 years ago. The shooting remains unsolved. 

Longdon, now a state representative from Phoenix and board member for Silent Witness, spoke to the media at the Phoenix Police Department on Sunday morning.

Sitting in her wheelchair, she asked anyone with information about the shooting that forever changed her life to share what they know to police — anonymously or otherwise.

Longdon said she doesn’t know why the person shot her and her fiance.

“What I do know is a person who is capable of doing this act is still in our community somewhere,” she said. “And there are people that know about it and they’re protecting that individual with their silence.”

Longdon teared up as she recalled how her then-12-year-old son was ripped out of bed and rushed to a trauma room where his mother was covered in blood.


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November 2019