PD: Man shot, killed after driving toward Glendale officer

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Officer Justin Penrose By Jennifer Thomas Officer Justin Penrose By Jennifer Thomas

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Glendale police say an officer was forced open fire on a driver over the weekend.

Officer Justin Penrose contacted the occupants of a Mercury Grand Marquis in the Jack in the Box parking lot at 59th Avenue and Colter Street at about 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

According to police, the driver had attempted to avoid contact with the officer near 59th Avenue and Camelback Road moments before.

Penrose learned the vehicle was stolen and requested backup.

As another officer was arriving on scene, Kenneth Girardot, 38, "put the stolen vehicle in gear and began aggressively trying to go forward and backward to get out of the parking space," said police spokesman Sgt. Brent Coombs.

Penrose yelled at Girardot in an attempt to get him to stop, but the man pointed the vehicle straight at the officer and began traveling toward him, according to Coombs.

Penrose drew his gun and fired, striking Girardot. Other officers attempted to render aid, but Girardot died at the scene.

Girardot's passenger, Raymond Flores, 39, was taken into custody. He had warrants for his arrest and was booked after being interviewed by investigators.

Police said the vehicle had been stolen out of Mesa about a month ago.

Penrose is a six-year veteran of the Glendale Police Department and has eight years prior service as an officer in Ohio. He is on paid administrative leave as is standard in officer-involved shootings.