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Flagstaff officer shoots suspect who pepper sprayed him during fight

Posted: 7:59 PM, Apr 09, 2019
Updated: 2019-04-10 02:59:32Z
KNXV Flagstaff Route 66 Officer Rubey Matthew Dearing Officer-Involved Shooting

FLAGSTAFF, AZ — Flagstaff police say an officer shot and wounded a person sought on a warrant during a struggle as the officer tried to arrest him.

Just after 4 p.m. Monday, Flagstaff police say Officer Nick Rubey approached a man on a bicycle along Route 66 near Fourth Street. Police say the man, 52-year-old Matthew Dearing, knew he had a warrant for his arrest and resisted when Rubey tried to take him into custody.

Dearing pulled an object from his waistline, which Rubey believed to be a knife, according to Flagstaff police. The object turned out to be pepper spray, which Dearing used against Rubey.

Police say Rubey fired one shot, hitting Dearing in the neck. Dearing was taken to the hospital and is continuing to receive treatment, according to a Tuesday night update from Flagstaff police.

The incident is being investigated by a team led by Northern Arizona University and Rubey has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

Charges against Dearing will be filed after he is released from the hospital, police said.

The department has released the video from Rubey's body camera video, which you can view here.