PHOENIX — Police say nine officers were hurt and another woman has died after a standoff at a south Phoenix home early Friday morning.
MONDAY UPDATE: Another officer has been released from the hospital. One officer remains hospitalized. An autopsy revealed Jones died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
STANDOFF AND SHOOTING
The incident occurred around 2:15 a.m. when officers responded to a report of a woman, later identified as 29-year-old Shatifah Lobley, shot near 51st Avenue and Elwood Street, just north of Broadway Road.
An officer went to the house to help Lobley and was invited inside by the suspect. The officer refused to enter, and was then ambushed by the suspect, who opened fire, hitting the officer multiple times.
Officials confirmed the identity of the suspect as Morris Richard Jones III.
The officer was able to get back to safety as additional crews arrived and surrounded the residence to call out the people inside, spokesperson Sgt. Andy Williams said at a Friday morning press conference.
A man, who was later identified by police and relatives as Lobley's brother, was then seen coming outside the front door, placing a one-month-old baby outside the home as the situation was unfolding. The man then went to officers who detained him.
Williams said as officers moved in to secure the infant, Jones, inside the home, opened fire again, striking four other officers with gunfire. Four additional officers were also hit indirectly with either ricochets or shrapnel.
The one-month-old infant girl is said to be okay and is in DCS custody, according to officials.
Jones was barricaded in the home for several hours and officials urged people to stay away or stay inside.
Negotiation attempts by the Phoenix Police Special Assignments Unit were initiated, and as crews made their way into the home around 7 a.m., they found Jones dead inside. Lobley was also found inside the house with critical injuries and was later pronounced dead.
Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams said the officers are recovering from their injuries and the initial responding officer was more seriously hurt, but is also recovering with non-life-threatening injuries.
The brother who brought the baby outside the home also suffered injuries during the incident but is said to be OK. Sgt. Andy Williams said there is no information to suggest he was part of the ambush, but the investigation is still ongoing.
Extremely active scene near 51st and W Elwood in Phoenix. We heard several gunshots and saw a chopper over head with its spotlight on when we arrived. @PhoenixPolice on scene and asking public to avoid area. Our photographer saw at least one officer shot @abc15 pic.twitter.com/uV10rLNig5— Amelia Fabiano ABC15 (@AmeliaFabianoTV) February 11, 2022
Jones and Lobley are believed to be former boyfriend and girlfriend with a child in common. Police confirmed on Saturday the one-month-old baby involved in the incident is Jones and Lobley's.
On Monday, an autopsy confirmed Jones did receive a "non lethal" gunshot from police, but died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. A motive in the shooting is not known.
A large police presence is expected to remain at the scene for the rest of the day and neighborhood restrictions have been put in place.
Chief Jeri Williams told KTAR the officers involved in the incident have between two and nearly 19 years of experience.
On Monday morning, another officer was discharged from the hospital, which leaves only one injured officer still in the hospital, but is on the "path to recovery."
The officers hurt by bullet shrapnel stayed at the scene despite their injuries in an attempt to make sure the incident was taken care of before they got medical attention, Sgt. Andy Williams said.
OFFICIALS REACT TO INCIDENT
“If I seem upset, I am... It’s senseless and it continues to happen over and over again," Chief Jeri Williams said in a media briefing Friday morning, noting that just months ago, another Phoenix officer was shot in the line of duty.
Numerous police officers/ambulances at emergency room entrance of Banner University. Video was taken while in passenger seat driving by. This is following police incident near 51st Ave. & Elwood where our #ABC15 crew heard several gunshots and saw at least one officer injured. pic.twitter.com/XUeXcZWDF8— Jamie Warren (@JamieABC15) February 11, 2022
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey tweeted: "Please continue to pray for the five officers injured this morning. Our men and women in blue work day and night—no matter the circumstances—to protect our state from danger. Their unwavering courage & sacrifice helps to keep us safe. Arizona is deeply grateful."
Please continue to pray for the five @PhoenixPolice officers injured this morning. Our men and women in blue work day and night—no matter the circumstances—to protect our state from danger. Their unwavering courage & sacrifice helps to keep us safe. Arizona is deeply grateful. 1/— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) February 11, 2022
Click here to see more reactions from local and state leaders.
WHO IS MORRIS JONES III?
ABC15 traced Morris Jones's criminal history back to age 18.
Jones, 36, spent much of his adult life in the criminal court system.
In 2004, Oklahoma prison records show Jones was incarcerated for a stolen car case.
Documents show he was convicted in a 2006 federal gun case and sentenced to 7 years in prison. Investigators, in that case, said he was affiliated with the Crips gang, and went by the nickname “Petey Gunn.”
Jones went back to prison for violating probation by using drugs. The Federal Bureau of Prisons website shows Jones was released in October 2019.
In February 2020, he was arrested in Arizona and charged with “conspiracy to transport illegal aliens for profit.” He was sentenced to three years of federal probation in that case.
Federal court records show Jones was accused of using drugs while still on probation in May 2021, and he served another short stint in jail.
Court records show Phoenix police also investigated Jones for allegations he punched an ex-girlfriend and stole her 9mm pistol in May 2021.
ABC15 was able to talk to Candice Jones, who says she has a child with the Morris Jones, though not the child that was taken out of the house during the standoff.
“I don’t know what was going through his head,” she said.
Candice says he called her when police arrived at the home near 51st Avenue and Broadway.
“He said the police was outside and I stayed on the phone with him until I arrived here,” she said.
When police realized Candice was talking to him, they took away her phone.
Lakenual Jones tells ABC15 the man who fired at officers was his brother.
He says his brother may have been suffering from depression and has called him for help in the past.
“He should have called and said something to let people know that he felt like this and he was going to do this,” said Jones.
“It’s just a tragic situation,” said Candice.
“I’m sorry that all this had to happen this way. I feel for the woman that was shot. I feel for the officers,” Candice told ABC15.
We also spoke with a woman who says she’s Jones’ mother-in-law who didn’t want to give her name.
“My son-in-law was full of anguish anxiety stress and something in his mind just snapped,” she said.
She told ABC 15, Jones’ current wife was in the neighborhood after police responded and tried to tell police Jones has had mental challenges.
“The following week he had an appointment to address that, but that appointment didn’t happen,” she said.
POLICE SHOOTING STATISTICS
This incident marks ninth media-reported shooting involving police in the Valley in 2022.
Officials with the Phoenix Police Department believe Friday's shooting marked the most officers injured in an incident for the department.
Take a look at the map for details on each media-reported police shooting in the Valley so far in 2022.