Police ID officer, victim in deadly Scottsdale shooting

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - Police on Wednesday provided new details in an officer-involved shooting that left a Scottsdale grandfather dead.

Scottsdale police Officer James Peters has been placed on administrative leave as authorities continue to investigate the deadly shooting Tuesday night in a neighborhood near Hayden and McKellips roads.

During a Wednesday news conference, Sgt. Mark Clark identified the victim as 50-year-old John G. Loxas.

Residents initially contacted authorities around 6 p.m. Tuesday reporting that Loxas was walking in the area holding his 9-month-old grandson and threatening neighbors with a handgun.

According to Clark, the first responding officer found Loxas outside his home and ordered him to step away from the house. Loxas reportedly ignored the officer's commands to step away and ran back inside the house.

Clark said from the officer's position, he could see that the suspect had the baby in his arms, but he could not see if he had a weapon.

More officers arrived and formed a crisis entry team to rescue the infant and take Loxas into custody.

After several calls for Loxas to exit the home, he opened the door with the baby in his left hand, and stood just inside the doorway. Officers then saw Loxas reach down to his right, lowering the baby and exposing his head and upper body.

Peters then responded to the movement with a single shot to Loxas' head.

Loxas was killed instantly. The infant was unharmed when released by the suspect and did not require hospitalization.

Clark said in an initial search of Loxas' residence, they located a handgun wedged in the cushions of a chair a few feet from where the suspect fell inside the house. Police believe the pistol was the one Loxas used to threaten his neighbors.

According to Clark, the gun was loaded.

Police also found a loaded shotgun a few feet farther into the residence, as well as eight "Airsoft" type rifles and pistols. Officers also found a functional improvised explosive device which was safely disassembled and disposed of by the bomb squad.

Crews who conducted a search of Loxas' home found it was extremely cluttered inside the residence, with "quite a collection of garbage."

Officers remained at the scene most of the day Wednesday to continue their investigation into the shooting.

Officials said Tuesday's incident was not Loxas' first encounter with Scottsdale police.

In 2010, he was arrested for disorderly conduct, an incident apparently very similar to Tuesday's incident. Loxas was reportedly seen yelling and walking around with a handgun. Officers said Loxas was drunk at the time and threatening neighbors with the pistol.

The ABC15 Investigators found the incident marks the seventh officer-involved shooting Officer James Peters, a 12-year veteran of the department and a former SWAT team member, has been involved with.

Click 'next page' to read a more detailed description of Peters' history with Scottsdale police

The first shooting Officer James Peters was involved with happened in November 2002. Peters was one of three officers to shoot a man who pointed a rifle at police during a standoff.

Another shooting happened in March of 2003. A man was walking along a canal with a shotgun when he pointed that gun at police. Peters shot the man.

In October 2005, Peters opened fire on a man who charged at officers with a pipe. Police say that man was also under the influence of drugs.

On April 23, 2006, Peters shot and killed a suspect who was holding an elderly man hostage at a grocery store. Peters received a medal of valor for his actions in that case.

A few months later, in August 2006, Peters shot a man who fired at officers outside a home.

The most recent incident happened in February 2010, when a serial bank robbery suspect drove his truck toward officers. Peters shot and killed him.

In each case Peters was placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure.

Each case was reviewed by his department and by a shooting review board at the county attorney's office. In every case, Peters was cleared of any wrongdoing.



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