FD: Suspect dead after being shot by officer in north Phoenix

Posted at 11:49 AM, Dec 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-31 00:25:46-05

Phoenix police say an officer shot and killed a suspect around noon Friday. 

Officers responded to the area of 12th Street and Northern Avenue at 11:30 a.m. after a report of a suspect with a knife who robbed a convenience store nearby. 

A release from the Phoenix Police Department says the suspect, whose name and age were not provided, was seen shoplifting from the store. When confronted, the suspect removed an 8" kitchen knife and threatened someone inside the store.

Investigators were able to put together a description of the suspect. A person matching the suspect's description was seen walking along the canal bank. Phoenix police said two officers, a man and a woman, approached and saw he was armed with a knife.

The suspect did not comply with officers' commands to stop and continued walking toward a small campsite, police said.

The suspect picked up a blanket and wrapped it around himself before turning and facing the officers armed with two knives.

The suspect focused his attention on the male officers and began walking toward him, police said. The officer pulled out and fired his taser, but it was ineffective, police said.

The officer backed up as the suspect approached until he reached a canal gate and could not back up any more, police said. The officer felt threatened and fired his service weapon, hitting the suspect several times, police said. 

The Phoenix Fire Department said the suspect was pronounced dead at the scene.

The activity caught the attention of several people who were nearby at the time. 

Dan Hull says she was working on his computer when he heard the Phoenix police helicopter overhead.

"I heard the helicopter. Like they started announcing to 'get down' to 'comply,'" he recalls.

Michael Conway also heard the chopper and knew right away when shots were fired.

"I knew they were gunshots," Conway said.

But neighbors are still shaken up. Hull says, "I'm trying to process it all. It's pretty intense."

Police said the officers involved are a 30-year-old man with more than 8 years with the department and a 52-year-old woman with 22 years of service. Both were not hurt during the incident.