Phoenix police kill downtown carjacking suspect

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Video report by Jared Dillingham & Tanya Mendis

Posted on March 18, 2014 at 12:16 PM

Updated Monday, Mar 24 at 10:43 AM

PHOENIX (AP) -- A carjacking suspect was fatally shot by police Tuesday after officers rammed a stolen SUV to try to keep it from leaving an underground parking garage in the heart of downtown Phoenix.

The suspect has been identified, but his name is not being released until his next of kin is notified. The suspect had stolen an SUV at gunpoint in the garage after driving there in a vehicle he had stolen in northwest Phoenix, police Sgt. Trent Crump said.

Police had used a helicopter and unmarked vehicles to trail the suspect into downtown Phoenix after one of two occupants in the original stolen vehicle pointed a gun at pursuing officers, Crump said. The stolen vehicle then drove into a garage at CityScape, a high-rise commercial and office development near City Hall and several courthouses, where the carjacking occurred.

Crump said an officer suffered a leg injury, but details on how that happened weren't immediately available. The officer's condition also wasn't available, but Crump said he is expected to be OK.

The second person in the stolen vehicle, a woman, was arrested. She has been identified as 23-year-old Jessica Hicks. Police say she is facing charges of first degree murder and armed robbery. It was not immediately clear whether she was in the SUV when it was rammed.

Defense attorney Richard Gierloff said he was in his office in a nearby building when he heard at least one police vehicle slam into the SUV.

Gierloff said he stepped away from his office window after seeing a dozen officers with guns drawn. He said he then heard a shot.

The shooting and subsequent investigation slowed light rail service through downtown Phoenix. Because a street was closed, the system had to run trains in two directions on tracks that normally carry trains only one way.

The shooting occurred two weeks after a Phoenix police detective was fatally wounded and another detective was hurt in a shootout with a homicide suspect in west Phoenix.

Jessica Hicks faces charges of first degree murder and armed robbery.

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