Two Phoenix Police Officers Shot, One Killed

Categories: News
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Tex Texin via Flickr


Two Phoenix police detectives were shot while chasing a fugitive, authorities say.

The shooter was killed at the scene, near 43rd Avenue and Bethany Home Road.

Phoenix Police Sergeant Steve Martos says three undercover detectives were tracking the man and looking to arrest him on a warrant. The man made them as cops and tried to drive away but crashed at 43rd Avenue and Bethany Home.

At that point, the man got out of the car and ran, at one point shooting back and striking two of the officers.

The third detective shot and killed the suspect, Martos says.

The detectives have been hospitalized, and police say the intersection will be shut down for several hours.

UPDATE 5:35 p.m.: Sergeant Trent Crump says both detectives are in surgery at St. Joseph's hospital.

UPDATE 5:41 p.m.: Police Chief Daniel Garcia says one of the officers has died. He said the officer was a 21-year veteran of the department.

UPDATE 5:49 p.m.: Martos says the officers involved are with the Major Offender Bureau, which is tasked with locating people with arrest warrants related to violent crimes. The other officer who was shot is a nine-year veteran of the department.

UPDATE March 4, 8:11 a.m.: Here's the shooter, 28-year-old William Thornton. State prison records show he was released from prison in January after serving about 18 months of a two-year sentence for resisting arrest and drug possession out of Maricopa County. A warrant was issued for his arrest a few weeks after his release for absconding from parole.

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ADC
UPDATE 9:18 a.m.: The detective killed in the shooting has been identified as 43-year-old John Hobbs. The other detective, who's recovering from surgery, is 44 years old.

Check back for updates.

Got a tip? Send it to: Matthew Hendley.

Follow Valley Fever on Twitter at @ValleyFeverPHX.
Follow Matthew Hendley at @MatthewHendley.



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62 comments
Pamela
Pamela

Why the fuck was that idiot, US Marshal David Gonzales interviewed about this shooting?  The idiot had no standing in the matter, it didn't involve any of his people and he has little credibility in my personal opinion.  The guy is a complete piece of shit looking to get his face on TV as much as he can.  I wonder if he still wants to take Arapios position once he retires.  God help us if this happens?  Ya ever see Gonazles's lawyer wife, and close friend of Janet Napolitano....nuff said!

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Where's ValleyNative to assert that the shooter had a RIGHT to defend himself -- shooting first --  with deadly force, fearing that the multiple armed goons chasing him were endangering his life ??


... which turned out to be 100% true.


Cozz
Cozz topcommenter

Anyone notice Arpaio wasn't on TV last night with all the other Chiefs of Police paying respect to the fallen PHX PD Detectives...

Janet Isaac
Janet Isaac

Such a sad day . Deep sadness for fellow officers and family prayers and thoughts are with you.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

The price society pays for fueling the Prison Industrial Complex with a never-ending supply of humans to warehouse for profit.




shadeaux14
shadeaux14

Love all the "armchair quarterbacking" going on before the facts are known.


The only fact I know so far is that 2 people are dead, one is injured and a whole bunch of family members are hurting.


My sympathy goes out to the officers, their families and the family of the shooter.



Beau Sullivan
Beau Sullivan

Sorry cops have become the biggest gang in the country there is no consequence when they violate ur civil rights we have the right to protect are freedom Cops forget who they are

Tom Adikes
Tom Adikes

The lack of stated reason for the "warrant" makes this story suspicious.

patrick.dotson
patrick.dotson

Who knows, maybe the suspect was targeted by others who were given  the green light to gang stalk him (community policing) and harrass him first and then see the unmarked detectives following him, maybe he is not so sure who is after him or for what.   Given he had a violent history, not sure if drug cartels were after him too.   Not to downplay the death of an officer, but seems like this was handled badly.

Yazzer Fly
Yazzer Fly

That's so sad and terrifying! That's near my neighborhood. Poor family

patrick.dotson
patrick.dotson

If these were undercover, how does the persued not know it is a gang hit or the cops?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

......... The RIGHT to Keep and Bear Arms Shall NOT BE INFRINGED !!

.

Cozz
Cozz topcommenter

Very sad...I feel for the families...

TommyCollins
TommyCollins topcommenter

Sad stuff. I hope the other officer is able to recover.

Tyburn Gallows
Tyburn Gallows

Valley cops are on a real shooting spree. What's that? 14 people they've shot just since January?

eeyore104
eeyore104

Flyer9753.REALLY? I made a comment but obviously you'd like to argue..I'm NOT stupid and at no time indicated that I thought a vest covered everything or was " a tank", but I've heard nothing about them having any sort of protection on and am curious SOMETHING is better than nothing..

robert_graham
robert_graham

Thumbs up to the officer who killed the suspect.  I'd like to know if you agree or think that his killing was unnecessary.  Come on people, let me know what you think.

eeyore104
eeyore104

Dan, I understand the concept of the vest not protecting all but they do protect some of the most vital parts and as I watch the news, I hear no mention that these officers were wearing any sort of protection and I would really like to know and if they were not.I'd love to know why exactly..unfortunately it won't protect these officers from what happened but might be an eye opener..

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@eeyore104  From the looks of your comments, you are the one wanting to start an argument, attempting to judge these officers in how they do their job and what they wear to do it, without having any details or experience on this job by your own admission.


Not a single word of condolence for the officers, just immediately to the vest, with no details or experience.


The only one wanting to start an argument here is you.

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@robert_graham   what i do know is, even though you edited your earlier post, the one asking what race the shooter was.....................the piece of shit was white. yep jackass, it was a white scumbag who killed a good cop and father of 3. now that you have your answer, maybe you can show a little remorse for a man who died young doing a job for over 20 years (and doing it commendably). if you really were for law and order, you would be displaying respect for the two officers, and for the family of the one who didnt make it instead of trying to get people to agree that its good that lives were lost. 

TommyCollins
TommyCollins topcommenter

@robert_graham How could any of us possibly know if the killing was necessary? I haven't seen complete coverage of the incident and it's not likely we will for several days since the investigation is continuing. How about you simply offer condolences to the family and friends of the officer who died and the other office who has been injured?

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@robert_graham  only an idiot encourages the taking of another life.

azcamper1968
azcamper1968

@robert_graham The suspect killed one officer and we're still waiting to see if the second one will live.   I'm glad SOMEONE killed him and am doubly glad it was another officer.  Why should we pay to keep a cop killer in jail?   I'm a cop's kid myself and worried for years that my dad  or my godfather would end up being shot by some piece of crap like that.  

My heart breaks for the families of the officers.  They have my deepest sympathy. 

While I believe the suspect got exactly what was coming to him,   I also feel for his family.  No matter what atrocities he committed, he also had a family who loved him. 

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@robert_graham  and now you edit your original comment to remove the race reference


you are such a wimpy little baby


For those that would like to know, this is Roberts ORIGINAL comment prior to him editing it:

-----------------------------

"What race was the shooter"


Why are you backing away from your race baiting attempt there JAFfy? Trying to make it look like you are not a racist I am sure... but everyone knows you are the poster baby for bigoted racists

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@eeyore104  some vests  will only stop certain rounds. they may have been shot at with something that their vest wasnt designed to stop. we will have to wait to find out also, i heard over 20 rounds.....so there may be any number of possibilities we havent thought of yet. in all honesty, i hope the officers were wearing their vests, it may be the difference between life and death for the other officer

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@eeyore104  Officers in plain clothes, like detectives commonly, often don't wear vests due to the weight and bulk of them, as well as the restriction of movement. 


It also makes it easier to see who is a cop and who isn't, look for the bulk of a vest.


MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

Thanks Marcy.

I've been out of town on business and this is the first I heard about this. I'm sorry for the deceased officer's family as well as the other officer. I hope the second officer pulls through.

I'm happy knowing a cop killer is six feet under. I think I can sleep a little easier tonight...

FreeTheWeed
FreeTheWeed

It's clear you don't comprehend the difference between NUANCE and nuisance.

What is the "nuance" of SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED ?

eeyore104
eeyore104

You are the one that got smart about vest not being a tank. I do not need to put condolences on a news article. Your basically insinuating I'm dumb enough to think a vest protects all.. I'm not.. I'd just like to know if they were wearing protection when going after known violent criminals and would also like to know that if they were not..why.. and hoping that it's not a "budget excuse"

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Cozz "I think your [sic] a fucking idiot is what I think. "


You're in need of some remedial English grammar lessons.


MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

Flyer, while I think Robert's a complete douchebag, I think in this case he's absolutely right. The police, while they despise ending someone's life, had no choice but to kill the suspect. This piece of shit had already killed one cop and he likely would've killed the second officer.

eeyore104
eeyore104

I see and yes I'm waiting to hear more and hope they mention these things ..and thank you for conversing nicely with me.. :) I just always hear about budget problems and hate to think something that could've possibly saved a life was passed over due to budget..

azcamper1968
azcamper1968

@Flyer9753 @eeyore104  - that's very true.   I don't ever remember seeing my dad or my godfather in vests when they were PC or UC because it would give them away.   The whole point of working  that type of detail is to blend in.    These particular detectives routinely served warrants on violent offenders, so I would assume that vests were a part of their standard attire, but I could be wrong.   Unfortunately, vests are not a guarantee of protection.  

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@rashsamuel52912  ... so the cops were dressed as thugs, acting like stalking thugs ... and the perp exercised his RIGHT to SELF DEFENSE when being chased by armed thugs?

rashsamuel52912
rashsamuel52912

There undercover officers ther jobs is to blend in to there surroundings look like a normal person on a normal day. If they were not undercover they would have uniform on badged exposed and lights on top of there car. These officers were in a unmarked car with just plain clothes on and no vest its kinda obvious if you see someone with a vest on u know its a cop so no vest for them and what I got out of it is when he ran he ran around 2 buildings when he got around the second one he pulled a gun and waited for those two officera came around the corner he shot at them and that piece of crap got them then another officer drove up and opened fire and killed the suspect so the cops didnt do anythig wrong they were surprised when comeing around the cornor and saw him there minds were racing and just it was a bad day for all of az rip thats what I think happened.

rashsamuel52912
rashsamuel52912

Ther undercover officers they have the blend in to there surroundings I know alot of officers and detectives my dads been a sheriff in az for 18 years. If your undercover what the 1st objective not blow your cover and vest under your shirt bam your cover is gone might as well just tell them your a cop undercover and what I thinkbis he ran around the building pulled a gun the two officers came around thinking he is still running but no he starts firing bam bam ther hit down then the other officer drove around got out and killed the suspect knowing his partners were down and hurt.

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@eeyore104  "I'm curious as to why officers going after someone with violent crimes would not be wearing vests ?"


That is your original comment - I'm not assuming you are dumb enough to think a vest protects all, your comment makes that assumption. Maybe if you had worded it different it would not have, but that's on you, not me. 


Your comment as written DOES assume that a vest would have stopped them from being shot or at the absolute least, they they were not wearing vests, something you don't know.


If you would like to know that, why didn't you ask that??? How hard is it? 


'Does anyone know if phx has a policy about their officers wearing vests when going after a known violent criminal?"


That's asking a question, without making assumptions. 


A skill you clearly need to learn.

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

I'm not surprised Robert mentioned race. Regardless I think he's right Flyer.

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@MaskedMagician1967  I don't disagree in the slightest.


The point of my post is that what I quoted was ALL he had in his first post before editing it to take his race-baiting out.

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@azcamper1968 @Flyer9753 @eeyore104  yup, it's a real judgement call when you are serving on known violents, since the lack of a vest might allow you to get close enough to take them down without a scuffle, whereas it might also get you killed if you don't succeed.


It's a real judgement call case by case, warrant by warrant. I don't know what phx's specific policy on it is.


Either way, yeah, vests are not an absolute in any way.

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@robert_graham i think you are a disgrace and an idiot. one cop lost his life, another is uncertain so far, and here you are trying to pander for support in taking lives. the cop who shot the guy did what he had to do and did not do it for the reasons you think. NO cop enjoys taking a life. 

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