PD: Officer killed in Phoenix shootout, 2nd officer out of surgery and recovering in ICU

PHOENIX - 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.

The scene was chaotic for people suddenly caught in the turmoil of a gunfight.

Kenny Brown was running an errand at PLS Check Cashing with his girlfriend.

He heard the initial car crash and ran to help two people who had been hurt.

He says as he was checking on them the suspect crawled out of his own car and ran from the crash straight toward Brown’s girlfriend, Sophina, who later told him about their run-in.

"He pushed her and said ‘get the f out of the way,’” Brown told ABC15.

Shortly after that an officer stopped feet away from Sophina and opened fire. 

"She was probably two feet away as the cops were shooting at the suspect," Brown explained.

Brown's girlfriend was taken by investigators to a gas station with the other witnesses to be interviewed.

He says the two people he helped in the wreck weren't badly hurt but were taken to the hospital.

Brown was told by police his car is part of the crime scene and he won’t be able to pick it up until the scene is cleared.

Sources say the two plainclothes 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.

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