"Dirty Harry" in Scottsdale? Badass Cop Bags Four Bad Guys in 10-Year Career

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Image: KPHO-TV
Scottsdale police Officer James Peters has shot and killed four people in his career. Looks like they all deserved it.

Most cops never shoot anyone, and even fewer will kill more than one crime suspect in their careers.

Scottsdale Officer James Peters is different: He's killed five four people in his 10-year career. On Wednesday, he was among several officers who shot and critically wounded another crime suspect.

As a Channel 5 (KPHO-TV) broadcast pointed out last night, Peters has racked up a high body count -- higher than any officer in the state.

UPDATE, 10:30 p.m.: Channel 5 reported tonight that the first suspect Peters' shot had survived, lowering Peters' total fatal shootings to four. The station corrected its original reporting and de-linked its written version. Based on the new report, we've made a few changes to this post.

Whether four or five dead, six total shootings is a tough-to-explain record.

Channel 5's Thursday report takes an ominous tone, at one point showing a close-up of one of Peters' eyes, inviting viewers to peer into his ethically suspect soul.

But the facts seem to support each of Peters' split-second decisions.

In other words, Peters may be quick on the trigger -- but he's also a hero.

In at least three of the shootings in which he's been involved, Peters wasn't the only one to fire -- other officers made the same choice as him.

That's what happened in his first shooting, a SWAT call-out for a domestic-violence situation. He was among three officers who shot a man who pointed a gun at them from a balcony, according to an East Valley Tribune article.

The same article details a 2003 shooting in which Peters shot and killed a suicidal, disbarred lawyer who'd been pacing the banks of a canal with a shotgun. Peters shot him as he walked toward the officer, ignoring commands to drop his weapon.

In 2005, Peters blew away an ex-con who had been released from prison four days earlier. The guy had been threatening people near the On-Auk-Mor store, 8001 East McKellips, when Scottsdale officer Dave Alvarado drove up.

The crazed man swung an 18-inch section of pipe at Alvarado, who barely dodged the blow. One Web account describes how Alvarado wanted to shoot the man, but was fearful of hitting passing motorists.

When Peters drove up and saw what was happening, he threw his car into park, "bailed out, and started shooting 'all in one move,'" according to the article by Force Science News. The suspect then began running at Peters, who continued firing. The article describes how the supect struggled, claimed he had a gun and threatened to kill officers -- even after being hit by two bullets."

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Safeway worker Patrick Corbett was at the mercy of a crazed gunman -- until Peters arrived at the scene


In 2006, like a scene out of a Dirty Harry movie, Peters shot a gun-wielding man who had taken a Safeway worker hostage. Peters won a Medal of Valor for that one.

Channel 5 makes hay with the fact that Scottsdale settled a lawsuit filed by the family of another man shot by Peters (and other officers) in 2006:

The Scottsdale Police Department had to settle with the victim's family out of court after Peters and other officers cut the power to a suspect's home and shot him dead when he came out with a gun to investigate.

But the station leaves out an important detail -- the man fired at least one shot at officers before they took him out.

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Image: Scottsdale Police
James Hammack is the latest to feel the punch of Peters' bullets.

In the most recent shooting, Peters and another officer wounded James Hammack, accused of robbing five banks. The cops, who had tracked him to 57th Avenue and Osborn in Phoenix, tried to arrest him after he got out of his truck. But when he spotted the officers, he jumped back in the vehicle and drove it directly at officers, police say.

Peters and the other officers have been put on administrative leave pending an investigation, which is routine for any officer-involved shooting.

We hope Peters is soon back on the streets, his firearms loaded and oiled.

Go ahead, make his day.

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Dear Ray Stern-"looks like they all deserved it""Blew away""latest to feel the punch of peters bullets" "We hope Peters is soon back on the streets, his firearms loaded and oiled. Go ahead, make his day." Really, is this the best writing you have in you..? Hopefully you do not call yourself a journalist because it seems to me like your poor, over dramatized, and just plain lack of writing skills should have you writing for some poor action flick company instead. You are the reason why i am thankful I can choose where I read my news from because it allows me to weed out shit like this. I am sorry I stumbled upon this article..In my opinion, New Times in general has lost all credibility from shit like this time and time again. Dear New Times-Stick to your slutty advertising and updates on where to see local music thats really all you are good for. I am no writer or journalist but I do know crap when I see it.


i would like to go kill that mother fucker,shooting an unarm man, fucking scum of the earth, i hope and pray that the fucker gets his.all cops suck dick


SORRY, folks who I am reading responses about this, but seriously!!! The people that these poor law enforcement officers have to respond to are usually drug or alchohol induced dumbasses who can't get a clue that hmm...when a POLICE OFFICER says ARMS UP, you do what he freaking says!!! If you don't understand basic directions of a law enforcement officer because you chose to get high as a kite (and trust me, I am no angel, but if a cop was pointing a GUN at me, I would be listening like they were MOTHER FREAKIN' WILLOW!!!) you better be ready for a taser shot, or if you choose to be combative, WORSE! I still say this stems from too many mommas and daddys saying "OOO, I can't spank my kid when they are bad...let's just TELL them they are naughty and someday they will realize they were misbehaving.." or BETTER YET...these are the children of drug and alcohol addicted kids who are damaged and acting out...is that the cop's fault??? NOT...HE or SHE is doing their job...protectin YOUR ASS...cause you KNOW you'd be all about it when you call 911 when these losers are breakin' into your house and getting ready to RAPE and KILL you for their next fix!


I think this guy should form a team!!! We need more police officers who aren't persecuted for ridding the streets of losers, crowding the welfare system and taxing my paycheck because they chose to be losers rather than work fairly for a living!!!


My only son was killed by a Florida Sheriff Deputy.  He was 24 and his crime was being nude in a hot tub 1/2 hour after it closed.  The "man" had four previous "good" shoots, had been drinking before he came on duty, it was his birthday and since then he has be involved in two other "good shoots".   Be afraid of anyone carrying a weapon..they are not all good guys. 


Hurrah for the rat killer!


 A unarmed man with a babe in his arms? If this is ok with everyone im buying a gun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Thank you for doing your job officer Peters!

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