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PD: Teens steal officer's rifle, use it to shoot at Phoenix city bus

Posted: 11:49 AM, Jan 03, 2019
Updated: 2019-01-04 14:08:25Z
Jovani Valdez.jpg

PHOENIX — Four suspects are accused of committing a string of armed robberies, aggravated assault, and shooting at a city bus in West Phoenix on Friday afternoon.

According to Phoenix police, officers first responded to reports of a shooting at a city bus near 51st Avenue and Van Buren Street around 1 p.m.

The victim told police that a black SUV was "aggressively following" the bus.

When the bus stopped, a person in the SUV, later identified as 18-year-old Jovanni Valdez, fired two shots from an AR-15 rifle.

Investigators would later say the shots did not hit the bus.

At 1:15 p.m., police received a call that suspects were shooting randomly at people around 68th Avenue and Lower Buckeye Road.

The suspect vehicle matched the description from the vehicle that fled from the first incident.

Nobody was found injured at this scene, according to police.

Officials say 15 minutes later, a person called and said two suspects robbed him at gunpoint around 66th Avenue and Yuma Road.

They then reportedly yelled at the victim to run, as they fired another shot.

A witness at this scene got photos of the SUV, including the license plate number which belonged to an SUV that was reported stolen.

Then, at 1:50 p.m., an officer recognized the suspect vehicle near 83rd Avenue and Van Buren Street and attempted to stop the vehicle, but the suspects fled and crashed behind a business complex.

Four suspects ran from the vehicle but were all apprehended and taken into custody after police established a perimeter in the area.

Two juvenile suspects were found inside a nearby dumpster, another juvenile was found near the crash scene, and the last suspect, Valdez, was found inside a business with the AR-15 hidden in his pants, according to police.

Court documents show that the AR-15 rifle was stolen from a Salt River Police Officer’s home in Avondale.

Valdez and two of the juveniles, both 15-years-old, have been charged with armed robbery, terrorism and multiple counts of aggravated assault.