PD identifies man who shot Phoenix officer

Posted at 4:16 PM, Sep 24, 2015

Police have identified a man who shot a Phoenix officer early Wednesday morning during a traffic stop.

Forty-year-old Police Officer Eric Gardner was shot multiple times during a traffic stop around 2:45 a.m. near 12th Street and Campbell.

According to police, Gardner was able to call for help as the suspects drove away from the scene.

Air15 video showed a heavy police presence near 12th Street and Indian School Road as officers closed in on the suspects.

Phoenix police confirmed three people, including the suspected shooter, were taken into custody around 1 p.m. after an extensive search.

The shooter has been identified as 26-year-old Michael James Rogers. Police found him at a home in that area with a handgun at the same location.

The two others arrested were believed to be in the vehicle with Rogers at the time of the incident, police said.

The suspect vehicle was found abandoned a short time after the shooting not far from the scene, according to police.

Gardner was taken to the hospital in serious condition and was out of surgery Wednesday afternoon, police said. He is expected to survive his injuries.

The shooting raises the question that police departments across the country are tackling: should officers be working with a partner at all times?

The Phoenix Police Sergeants and Lieutenants Association said national trends show most violent confrontations with police happen during traffic stops.

President Sean Mattson said in his own experience, two-man cars are safer.

“If someone is looking to do harm to a peacekeeper that's the harm they're going to do is when it's just one-on-one. It’s much more likely they’ll come out of that situation than if there are two officers," Mattson said.

Mattson said it’s been an ongoing topic with Phoenix police which is already challenged by low staffing levels, a reason the officer in this case was working when it otherwise would’ve been his day off.