PCSO: 1 dead in deputy-involved shooting at Maricopa restaurant

MARICOPA, AZ - A man was killed in an officer-involved shooting after he allegedly approached a sergeant with a knife at a Maricopa restaurant Sunday night.

Elias Johnson with the Pinal County Sheriff's Office said the suspect ran into The Great Wall of China Restaurant near Maricopa and Smith Enke roads just after 10 p.m.

The suspect was reportedly armed with a knife and took a seat inside a booth.

Customers and employees fled the restaurant using a back door and called 911 after they were threatened by the suspect, said Johnson.

Law enforcement from both the Maricopa Police Department and Pinal County Sheriff's Office responded to the scene.

Law enforcement reportedly attempted to contact the suspect in both English and Spanish.

Johnson said the suspect refused to comply with any orders and was seen cutting himself with the knife.

Knowing the man was a harm to himself, members of both agencies entered the business at 1:09 a.m. and again attempted to speak with the suspect, but he would not respond.

Deputies and officers saw the knife was on the ground next to the suspect, so they advanced toward him.

Johnson said the suspect was hit on three separate occasions with less lethal "beanbag rounds" in an attempt to get him to comply with commands to surrender.

While speaking with the suspect at close range, the suspect allegedly pulled a meat clever knife in an aggressive manner and suddenly advanced toward a Pinal County Sheriff's sergeant.

Fearing for his safety, the sergeant fired two rounds from his department issued weapon, said Johnson.

The suspect fell to the floor, still in control of the knife in his hand, which was reportedly kicked from his possession.

The suspect was provided with immediate medical attention at the scene, but died a short time later.

The suspect has not been positively identified.

The investigation continues.

Sheriff Paul Babeu stated, "The suspect in this case attempted to use lethal force against one of my sergeants. The sergeant was forced to use deadly force to protect himself and other law enforcement members in the business. This marks the fifth officer involved shooting Arizona has seen since last Thursday evening. We all know law enforcement is a dangerous profession last year 165 officers were killed in the line of duty across America. Our sergeant responded to the deadly threat posed by this suspect as he was trained in order to protect himself, his fellow officers and the citizens of Pinal County. "

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