Avondale police pursuit ends in Tempe after bank robbery investigation

Posted at 12:45 PM, Sep 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-07 09:11:46-04

Two suspects have been detained and another suspect is dead following a reported bank robbery that turned into a police pursuit and officer-involved shooting Tuesday afternoon.

Avondale police confirmed the situation started when officers responded to a bank robbery at Credit Union West near Litchfield Road and Van Buren Street.

Phoenix police, who are taking over the investigation, said when an Avondale police officer attempted to stop the suspect's vehicle, the suspects shot at him.

Avondale police initiated a pursuit and Phoenix police took over.

According to police, while officers were following the suspect's vehicle, two suspects got out of the vehicle and on foot.

Police said one suspect was detained by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office K9 unit. The other suspect was taken into custody by Phoenix police.

The suspect, identified Monday night as 31-year-old Steven Delrio, continued driving and threw evidence from his car during the chase.

Around 12:40 p.m., the suspect vehicle was hit by multiple undercover police vehicles while turning onto the Baseline Road on-ramp to eastbound I-10.

Joe Chung is staying nearby at the Arizona Grand Resort. He said he was driving in the area when he noticed all the police activity. 

"I noticed the two helicopters flying above as I was driving out of the resort," Chung explained. "And turned right and then all the officers just kind of pulled in front of me and stopped everybody." 

Police tell ABC15 the suspect was on the phone with people and could have been getting tips from people watching live news feeds.

Officers fired shots at the spun-out vehicle as it came to a stop along the on-ramp. The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

Serge Mutlimba works in the area and said he ducked to cover while walking to work, telling ABC 15 - everything happened too quickly for him to comprehend right away what was happening. 

"When you have bullets, about three or five bullets going on, you definitely want to be scared," Mutlimba explained. "You want to see where they coming from...I was just right of the light when the bullets went off. I didn't see where it came from. When I heard a car smash, that's when I knew that it was somewhere right there."

Israel Camacho was trying to get on the I-10 this afternoon when his plans were halted by this police chase. He pulled out his phone and recorded the moments after police 

"He was going to turn onto the freeway and then I saw two cars hit him, you know, hit the truck," Camacho explained. "So, that's when I'm like something is going on. I mean, it was right away, like maybe two, three seconds after we were turning... we heard the gun shots."

Phoenix Police Sgt. Jonathan Howard said, "the suspect intended to escape at all costs."

No officers were injured during the pursuit or shootings in Avondale and Tempe.

Baseline Road on-ramp was shut down at Interstate 10 for the investigation into Wednesday morning.

Officers are at multiple other scenes along the pursuit path where other suspects reportedly bailed from the vehicle. 

Phoenix police say all suspects involved are believed to have been detained and the public is not in danger.