Bomb call sparks officer-involved shooting at hotelPosted: Updated:
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Police are investigating an early morning officer-involved shooting that started with a 911 call about a bomb exploding at the Clarion Hotel near Scottsdale Fashion Square Friday.
It all started shortly after 4:30 a.m. with a 911 call from a guest at the hotel. That man, later identified as Derrick Eckles, 25, told the operator a bomb had gone off and requested a police response, said Sgt. Mark Clark of the Scottsdale Police Department. Eckles, of Phoenix, then hung up without providing any other information.
Clark said the 911 operators contacted the hotel's desk clerk to determine if any similar reports had been made. The clerk said another guest had reported hearing a loud noise from the room above.
A hotel employee tried to contact Eckles in the second-floor room, but Eckles did no.
As officers responded to the scene on Scottsdale Road just north of Chaparral Road, Eckles made a second 911 call. He once again said a bomb had gone off and asked where the police were. Like before, he hung up without give the operator any other details.
Two officers were directed to the Eckles' second-floor room and when they knocked, Eckles allegedly fired a weapon through the door.
"Even in basic training, you learn that you don't stand in front of a door when you knock, no matter what the call is," Clark explained. "The officer thankfully didn't [stand in front of the door]. They were in a safe position. When you start taking rounds, then the whole situation changes."
As the officers took cover, Eckles came out of the room and confronted them. He was armed with a semi-automatic pistol, Clark said. One officer, an eight-year veteran of the force, returned fire. While the suspect was hit in the torso, he was not incapacitated and fled the scene on foot.
Officers chased the man through the hotel parking lot and into a parking lot of a business next door.
When confronted a second time, Eckles gave up; officers arrested him with no further incident, Clark said.
Eckles was taken to Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center. While doctors reportedly describe his injury as non life-threatening, his condition at this time is not known. He is, however, expected to survive.
No officers were wounded in the exchange of gunfire and no other injuries were reported.
Because all of this took place in a busy, highly populated area, there was an inherent danger that an innocent bystander could have been wounded.
"There are a lot of people around," Clark said. "There's a lot of chance, when you're shooting, that something can happen."
Investigators spent the morning scouring the scene for evidence as they continue to piece together the events that led up to he shooting. They are not yet sure what prompted the suspect to make the two 911 calls or why he opened fire and then ran. They believe it is a possibility that drugs played a rold in the suspect's behavior.
The officer who fired has been placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure in any officer-involved shooting. No other details about that officer were immediately available.
The investigation is ongoing.