Phoenix police officer, suspect killed in shootout; 2nd officer in ICU - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Phoenix police officer, suspect killed in shootout; 2nd officer in ICU

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Posted: Monday, March 3, 2014 6:45 pm | Updated: 10:54 pm, Mon Mar 3, 2014.

A Phoenix police officer has died in the line of duty after a shooting in west Phoenix.

Phoenix police Chief Daniel Garcia made the emotional announcement outside St. Joseph's Hospital where the two detectives were taken after the shooting Monday afternoon.

Garcia said the officer who died was a 21-year veteran of the department. He said this is "a day of tragedy."

“When you have somebody with 21 years of experience and all the effort and time they've put in, all the knowledge they've gained. It's a tremendous loss because that person prevented a lot of crime and stopped a lot of crime, and kept a lot of people from getting hurt,” said retired Phoenix police Sgt. Andy Hill.

The second officer injured in the shooting has nine years with the department. At 7:30 p.m. police said the detective had come out of surgery and is recovering in the intensive care unit.

A third detective was involved in the incident but was not injured.

According to Phoenix police Sgt. Steve Martos, 43rd Avenue and Bethany Home Road is shut down and is expected to be closed for several hours.

Martos said a suspect wanted on a felony warrant was killed in the confrontation. No other suspects are being sought in the shooting.

Witnesses in the area told ABC15 they heard more than a dozen shots fired in the altercation.

"After the gunshots, everyone pretty much scattered," Nick Cusson said.

Sources say the two undercover detectives, part of a fugitive apprehension task force, had tracked the homicide suspect to the intersection from a nearby neighborhood.

Air15 video showed a pickup truck and two sedans involved in an apparent collision in the roadway. It is unclear at this time what caused the crash.

Footage showed paramedics working on a patient and loading that person into an ambulance.

Officer James Holmes said an 83-year-old woman and man in his 50s suffered minor injuries in the crash and were transported to a nearby hospital as a precaution.

Glendale police tweeted that 43rd Avenue has been shut down between Camelback and Maryland, while Bethany Home is closed from 47th to 39th avenues. The closures are expected to be in effect for most of the night and potentially through the morning hours.

On Monday night Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton released the following statement:

“Today’s event is a tragic reminder of the incredible dangers our police officers face each and every day. Phoenix has lost a 21-year veteran of our Police Department who willingly put his life in harm’s way to keep us safe, and was actively working to take the worst kind of violent criminal off our streets. Another officer, a nine-year veteran of the force, continues to fight for his life.

“This is the most difficult kind of day for our City. I ask that all of Phoenix join Nicole and me and pray for these officers, their families and loved ones, as well as every one of our brave men and women in uniform.”

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