PD: $18K robbery led to shooting of Phoenix officer, MCSO posse member

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by Jennifer Thomas

Video reports by Mike Watkiss and Natalie Brand

Posted on January 2, 2014 at 11:43 AM

Updated Friday, Jan 3 at 5:58 PM

PHOENIX – More details have been revealed about the shooting of a Phoenix police officer and a Maricopa County Sheriff's Office posse member.

Roger Allen Sharp Jr., 26, of Phoenix, and David Lee Murray Jr., 36, of Tempe, were arrested late Tuesday afternoon.

According to police, Sharp and Murray robbed two employees of the Pink Rhino gentlemen's club while they were en route to make a deposit at about 2 p.m. Tuesday.

Police said the suspects pointed a gun at the employees in the parking lot of an IHOP restaurant near 44th Street and Thomas Road and demanded the $18,000 they had.

The suspects then fled in a maroon Chevy Impala and collided with the posse member's truck at 56th Street and Thomas Road during a pursuit by police.

Murray ran from the scene and was taken into custody in the backyard of a nearby home.

The posse member got out of his vehicle to help the officer after Sharp physically resisted arrest. According to police, Sharp grabbed the officer's handgun and shot the 34-year-old officer and 63-year-old posse member then fled on foot with the gun.

Sharp forced entry into a nearby residence where he told the homeowner that he "just shot a cop," according to Maricopa County Superior Court documents.

Sharp was taken into custody in the backyard of a home in the area and the officer's handgun was recovered.

Sharp told investigators that the officer threatened to shoot him in the back. He said another person came up and tackled him then he heard two pops.

Sharp faces charges of attempted murder, burglary, armed robbery, possession of a weapon by a prohibited person, unlawful flight and resisting arrest. Murray faces one count of armed robbery with a deadly weapon.

Sharp and Murray are being held in lieu of $500,000 bonds.

Both shooting victims remain in critical but stable condition. The officer has been identified as Scott Sefranka.

"Scott is a tremendous, very assertive officer," Cmdr. Louis Tovar said.

He said Sefranka's quick response on New Year's Eve wasn't surprising.

"He happened to be right there when this radio call came out," Tovar said. "It didn't surprise us that he would be the one to get there first, to engage these armed robbery suspects."

There are 17 letters of commendation in Sefranka's police file in his seven years with the Phoenix Police Department.

Before joining the department, he served in the U.S. Coast Guard.

Phoenix police officers continue to stand guard at the hospital and offer support to Sefranka's wife.

"We're upbeat," Tovar said. "We just thank God that Scott is still with us and we're hopeful."
 
3TV's Javier Soto interviewed Sefranka in 2011 after he and another officer rescued a puppy from a hot car.

The sheriff's office is not releasing the posse member's name, per the family's request, but said he is a Vietnam veteran with a wife and daughter.

"I'm proud that he saw the situation and ran to help out the Phoenix police officer," Sheriff Joe Arpaio said at a press conference Thursday afternoon.

Arpaio also said, "This is the first time one of our posse members was shot."

 

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