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Robber sentenced for mall incident, shooting at officer

The 32-year-old man who started an August gunbattle that involved a Las Vegas police officer and a shopper outside the Boulevard Mall was sentenced Wednesday to 17 1/2 to 44 years in prison.

Raul Eduardo Gonzalez, dubbed Fidel Castro at the courthouse because that is the name he first gave police officers, was convicted of attempted murder in March.

On Aug. 9, Gonzalez placed a 9 mm Glock handgun on the counter of a Marshalls store at the Boulevard Mall and ordered workers to give him money.

After robbing the store, Gonzalez waited in ambush as police officer Robert Schulz came to check the store after learning from a motorist that it was being robbed.

Schulz was driving along the north side of Marshalls when bullets fired by Gonzalez peppered his windshield. Schulz was injured from the glass and shrapnel but was able to get off three shots of his own, striking Gonzalez in the heel.

Gonzalez limped away, taking a woman hostage for a few moments before police captured him.

A jury convicted him of resisting a public officer, burglary with a firearm, four counts of robbery and first-degree kidnapping with a deadly weapon, but District Judge Lee Gates dismissed the kidnapping charge Wednesday and said evidence was insufficient to support that count.

Gonzalez was arrested and charged with burglary in Maricopa County, Ariz., in December 2005 and sentenced to one year of probation. He was deported to Mexico but returned.

The day before the Marshalls robbery, he was accused of carjacking eight people and robbing a Papa John’s Pizza in Arizona.

According to prosecutors’ sentencing memorandum, Gonzalez engaged in a rapid cycle of stealing cash and vehicles of victims at gunpoint.

At one point, a police deputy pursued him, but Gonzalez rammed his car into a van, causing the van to spin and strike the deputy’s car. Three people were injured.

Gonzalez is facing charges in Maricopa County for those incidents.

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