Raul Mendez

Nov 4, 2022 | In The News | 0 comments

An Arizona man who was shot in the head while attending a Fourth of July party with his family on July 3, 2022, is speaking out about how he was able to thwart the shooter from killing more people with his concealed carry firearm.

“My back was turned. I heard the first gunshot and that’s what made me, kind of turn my head … But by the time I even was able to look and see what was going on, a bullet already had struck the side of my face,” Raul Mendez recounted.

Gunshots rang out at a home in Surprise, Arizona, on the evening of July 3 as Mendez, his two daughters and his seven-month pregnant wife gathered with friends and other families to celebrate the founding of America. About 30 people were gathered in the home, including young children, as the group celebrated with fireworks and food, said Mendez.

A neighbor of the man hosting the party soon joined, and mingled with the group despite not being close friends with anyone there, according to Mendez. That neighbor was later identified by police as 46-year-old Jason Hunt, the sole suspect in the case who opened fire unprovoked on the families and partiers.

Two of Mendez’s friends, Conrradito Ochoa Navarro, 41, and Carl Dinora, 38, were killed in the incident. Four others, including Mendez, were left seriously injured.

As Hunt and other partiers had a bite to eat in the kitchen, the suspect pulled out a gun and began firing on the crowd, sending everyone fleeing, Mendez recounted.

Mendez was shot in the head in front of his wife, who rushed to his side and believed he was dead due to the amount of blood covering his face. She then grabbed their two daughters and put them into a room deeper in the house, barricading them and other children inside.

“She barricaded the door with the dresser. There were three other children in there, not including my two daughters. A total of five kids. She … throws them in the closet, throws clothes over them. Tells them, ‘Be quiet. Do not make a peep if you hear loud noises in this room,’” Mendez said of his wife’s actions.

As Hunt continued his alleged rampage, two other women began fighting back against the suspect and screamed for Mendez, knowing he had a concealed carry weapon, Mendez said.

“By the glory of God or the adrenaline and just everything, just the will to live and the will to protect my family, I was able to hear those pleas, those yells for help. I heard my name. And I was able to get up,” he said.

He was able to pull out his firearm and shoot the suspect four times in the chest.

“Detectives have determined the individual who shot Jason, and others who fought against Jason, were acting in self-defense and defense of other innocent parties, said Sgt. Tommy Hale”.

Mendez spent a week in the hospital after the shooting and has more surgeries on the docket. He lost his left eye, fractured his jaw, suffered a torn eardrum, and lost his sense of smell.

Mendez is now speaking out about the importance of the Second Amendment and how law-abiding, armed Americans can help end shootings before they claim more lives.

“If I didn’t have my gun with me, everyone in the house would have died. The news vans would’ve been front and center. But because I did, you never even heard about it.”

Raul Mendez and his beautiful family are alive today because he was able to carry his firearm. Over one million Americans use firearms yearly to protect themselves and their loved ones, and often most media outlets refuse to tell their stories.

No motive has been released in the case.