CHANDLER, AZ — Months after a teenager shot in the back twice by a Chandler police officer, new details are emerging about the officer's past in the area, and his situation the night of the shooting.
ABC15 has learned that Officer Chase Babek-Miller's father was on a ride-along with him the night he chased, then shot Anthony Cano.
"A kid on a bicycle is who he is chasing, and all this time his dad is in the car riding shotgun," said Greg Kuykendall, a Tucson-based attorney from Cano's family.
ABC15 has also learned that eight months before he shot Cano twice in the back, Officer Bebak-Miller was shot just a couple of hundred yards away.
The suspect, Rigoberto Polanco Jimenez, hit Officer Chase Bebak-Miller in the leg.
At the time, a spokesperson said the convicted felon fired multiple rounds at the officer as he was running away near Gazelle Meadows Park.
Jimenez later barricaded himself in a home, where he shot and injured two more officers.
It is unclear how long Officer Bebak-Miller was off-the-streets recovering, following his shooting. ABC15 has requested the timeline from Chandler PD.
It is also unknown, at this time, if he underwent an evaluation before returning to patrol. Those are relatively common though, according to experts.
"Most agencies have some type of screening process to get people back," said Lon Bartel, a former Peoria Police officer who is now a use-of-force expert. "Those types of events do leave marks, and we have to make sure that we heal. Our brain needs to heal the way our body needs to heal."
Kuykendall questions to what degree an officer can heal after an incident like a shooting.
"I recognize it’s terribly traumatic to be shot and the idea of being on the force again, in the same vicinity as where you were shot, running through the night, in the dark, after a person you’ve seen bicycle. I think that could create a lot of trauma," said Kuykendall.
Lon Bartel believes the ride-along and prior shooting are tangential, and not what really matters to the prosecutors reviewing the case for potential criminal charges.
"Ultimately, what it boils down to is was it objectively reasonable?" said Bartel.
Officer Bebak-Miller is now back on "modified duty." It is unclear what exactly that means, Chandler police would not elaborate.
Meanwhile, the case is awaiting criminal review by the Maricopa County Attorney's office.
Activists are calling for Officer Bebak-Miller to be fired, and are protesting weekly outside police headquarters.