PHOENIX – A Phoenix police officer died and another was in critical condition after a shootout Monday that also killed a man wanted on a felony warrant, authorities said.
A member of the fugitive apprehension team died of his wounds at a hospital a few hours after the 3:30 p.m. shooting, Police Chief Daniel Garcia said.
The officer’s name wasn’t immediately released. Garcia said he was a 21-year veteran.
“The other officer is fighting for his life,” Garcia said at a news conference. The name of that nine-year department veteran also was being withheld by police officials.
The shootout occurred after the suspect fled in his car, caused a three-vehicle collision, and ran away on foot before exchanging gunfire with officers outside a check cashing and title loan business, authorities said.
The suspect came around a corner with a gun and a third officer was able to fire on the suspect and stop the threat, police spokesman Detective James Holmes said.
The suspect’s name was not immediately released.
An 83-year-old woman and a 53-year-old man suffered minor injuries in the car accident that closed an intersection for more than an hour.
Nick Cusson, manager of a restaurant in a shopping mall near the shooting scene, said he heard more than a dozen shots just a few minutes after arriving at work.
“The next thing you know, the whole parking lot is scattered with people,” Cusson said. “Then within about 30 seconds, we see all these cops driving up.”
Cusson said he had noticed several unmarked police cars parked nearby just before the shooting but didn’t think much of it.
“Then I guess there was a shootout,” he said. “We were all looking out the window. We were kind of curious. We weren’t sure they were gunshots at first.”
Cusson said he was closing his shop because the entire area had been cordoned off by police.
“No one can come pick their food up and we can’t get delivery drivers out,” he said.