Mohave County Sheriff's Office rule deadly officer-involved was 'justified'

Posted at 4:41 PM, Oct 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-12 19:46:14-04

The Mohave County Sheriff's Office is wrapping up a weeks-long investigation into the a deadly officer-involved shooting in Kingman.

According to an MCSO press release sent on Wednesday, the shooting death of 35-year-old Paula Phillips is considered justified and officials believe Phillips wanted to commit "suicide by cop."

On August 29, Phillips is believed to have called Kingman police to report a car matching hers driving recklessly near Broadway Avenue and Stockton Hill Road. A second person also called in to report a person driving erratically with AK-47s and shotguns in the car around the same area.

When officer Evan Hopper arrived to the area, he spotted Phillips standing outside of her car — which was parked in the middle of the road — with a "weird smile," Hopper said.

When the officer walked towards the car, Phillips grabbed a shotgun and pointed it towards the Hopper, authorities said. Phillips ignored commands and Hopper fired four rounds, three of which hit the suspect and one struck the shotgun.

According to investigators, because a bullet also hit the shotgun it shows that it was held between the suspect and officer at the time of the incident.

Phillips also had alcohol, methamphetamine and Oxycodone in her system.