William Thornton, the man who shot two police officers and killed one Monday, was not only a suspect in a recent attempted murder case, Phoenix police say he also had a felony warrant out for a probation violation.
The ABC15 Investigators found there are thousands of warrants like this in Arizona that remain outstanding.
According to the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS), there are 43,294 outstanding felony warrants in Arizona. That includes 28,050 – more than half – in Maricopa County.
Officer John Hobbs, who died Monday from his gunshot wounds, and his partner were detectives in the Fugitive Apprehension Unit of the Phoenix Police Department. They were tasked with tracking down the most dangerous criminals and fugitives.
Sgt. Steve Martos, a spokesman for the Phoenix Police Department, said Hobbs and his partner were conducting surveillance on Thornton Monday morning because of his felony warrant and his suspected role in the recent attempted murder.