Phoenix officer extremely critical, suspect dead

Posted at 3:18 PM, May 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-19 14:27:59-04

Police say a Valley officer is fighting for his life and remains in critical condition after he was shot during a confrontation in a Phoenix neighborhood Wednesday afternoon.

Chief Joseph Yahner said during an afternoon press conference that the officer, who has a wife and two children, has served with the department for 12 years.

"He's fighting for his life," said Yahner. On Thursday morning, police said he remained in critical condition.

The officer is a member of the Neighborhood Enforcement Team, which works to solve problems specific to certain neighborhoods.

"He's a good man and our prayers are with him tonight," Yahner said hours after the shooting.

"We hate to hear this news, but it's a stark reminder what our officers face when they go out to serve us every single day," said Mayor Greg Stanton.

Sgt. Vince Lewis, spokesman for Phoenix Police Department, said police received a phone call reporting a residential burglary-in-progress around 2:30 p.m. near 51st Avenue and Baseline Road.

The caller reported that the suspect was armed. Lewis said the relationship between the suspect and caller was "family." Sources told ABC15 that the dad called 911 on his son, the alleged suspect.


At least six officers responded to the call. As they arrived, the suspect, who was seated in a van parked in the driveway, began shooting at the officers, said police. Officers returned fire killing the suspect.

Police did not identify the suspect pending family notification. One police officer was critically injured, said Chief Yahner.

Footage from Air15 showed a dark van in the driveway of a home with the rear windshield shot out. Other side windows appear to also have been shot out. 

The landlord, who asked to remain anonymous, told ABC15 that the van had been loaned to the suspect so he could look for work. When that was not happening, according to the landlord, the dad intervened.

The son allegedly refused, according to the landlord.

Baseline Road has been closed down between 43rd and 51st avenues as police investigate. 

Stay with, ABC15 Mobile and ABC15 News for updates.