Police release name of man who allegedly pointed gun at officers in Phoenix, was shot in return

PHOENIX - Police have identified a man who is accused of pointing a gun at officers in west Phoenix last week.

On Feb. 16, authorities went to the area of 91st Avenue and McDowell Road after spotting a car belonging to 28-year-old Roberto Verdugo who is wanted on domestic violence charges and an outstanding felony warrant. 

Officers attempted to arrest Verdugo after watching him approach the car, a police spokesperson said. As officers walked towards him a second suspect, 39-year-old Lazaro Curiel, was seen standing in the front of a house and allegedly pointed a gun at the officers.

One of the officers fired at Curiel, striking him several times, authorities said. He was taken to the hospital to receive treatment for non-life-threatening injuries. 

During this incident, Verdugo fled from the area, however, he was located a short time later in a yard and was taken into custody without injury. A gun was also found at the scene, officials said. 

No officers were injured during the incident. According to officials, the suspects were friends.

The shooting officer has been identified as James Byrd of Phoenix Police. He is 41 years old and has 16 years of service under his belt. 

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