Freeway jumper dead after standoff that prompts shooting

Posted: Updated:

PHOENIX - Interstate 10 was closed in both directions early Monday morning when the Phoenix Police Department and the Department of Public Safety responded to a man threatening to jump off an overpass.

Officers responded around 5 a.m. to the 43rd Avenue overpass where a man was on top of the fencing and ready to jump onto traffic.

The situation turned into an officer-involved shooting after the man threatened officers trying to talk him out of jumping.

The man had a shirt covering what officers believed was a weapon in one of his hands.

After an hour, the negotiations were unsuccessful and the man apparently was moving toward officers, failing to show what was in his hand.

According of Sgt. Steve Martos, that is when officers fired stun bean bags, followed by shots. The man fell onto the eastbound lanes of the freeway.

Police are not sure how many times the man was shot. They are also not saying if in fact the man was armed.

"He did make some movements towards the officers, pointed his right hand where he had that article of clothing wrapped around his hand indicating as though he was gonna do something to the officers," Phoenix Sgt. Steve Martos said.

Eastbound I-10 was closed from 51st to 35th avenues until just before 2 p.m. along with the overpass at 43rd Avenue while they investigated the incident.

"Tha family has stated that there was some suicidal comments made by this individual. They were extremely apologetic...and certainly sorry for the entire incident," Sgt. Martos said.

It is unclear whether the man, identified as 40-year-old Robert Ybarra Charlez, died as a result of the shooting or as a result of falling from the overpass.

His family reportedly said he was recently released fromt he Department of Corrections and was having difficulty re-adjusting to civilian life. The investigation remains ongoing.