Machete-wielding man ambushes, wounds officers; suspect shot, killed

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX – Two Phoenix police officers are recovering after a man armed with a machete ambushed them while they were responding to a domestic violence call. That suspect was shot and killed.

It happened at about midnight Tuesday at an apartment complex just southeast of 59th Avenue and Roosevelt Street.

According to police, the ex-husband of a woman who lives in the apartment showed up and started threatening her. The man, later identified as Tobias Torres, reportedly was known to carry large knives.

The victim’s roommate crawled out of a window and called the police. She told them that Torres had threatened her and her roommate -- his ex-wife -- with a machete in the past. She also told officer  that four children, all younger than 10, were inside the apartment.

“This is a domestic-violence fight that is occurring,” Sgt. Trent Crump of the Phoenix Police Department said. “We are obligated to go inside and check welfare on the female victim that they believe is in there, but also the children.”

Before they went inside, the officers had been told that the suspect had left.

“It appears that somebody was trying to cover for him,” Crump said. “They were told when they were greeted at the door by the female that he [the suspect] had left and he was no longer there. Obviously, that was false.”

It turned out that Torres was hiding in the bathroom and ambushed the two officers as they made their way down the hall.

“He threw a bathroom door open, swung the machete …,” Crump explained.

Torres, 35, cut one of the officers on the arm before going after the second one.

Both officers opened fire, hitting Torres several times. He later died at St. Joseph's Hospital.

It's not known if there is a history of domestic violence between Torres and his ex-wife.

Detectives said Torres had additional knives on him, as well as drugs.

Both officers -- a 32-year-old with eight years on the force and a 38-year-old with five -- were treated and released from Good Samaritan Hospital. Crump said both might require further treatment for their injuries.

“We are very fortunate that they were not more seriously injured,” Crump said.

The four children who were in the apartment while all of this was happening were not hurt.