El Mirage police wound man in shooting

Posted: Updated:
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

EL MIRAGE, Ariz. (AP) -- A 28-year-old man is hospitalized in stable condition after being shot by El Mirage police Thursday night.

Police say two officers went to a home after receiving a report that the man was suicidal.

According to police, the officers encountered the man while he was carrying a shotgun and at least one officer shot the man after feeling threatened.

One neighbor said police were too quick to shoot.

"They shot him one after another. They didn't give him a chance," Yolanda Vasquez said. "They should have tazed him. I don't know why they didn't taze him.They didn't have to shoot him ...."

While police said the man was armed, Vasquez told 3TV she did not see anything in his hand.

Investigators said a shotgun was recovered from the scene and a shot reportedly was fired before officers arrived.

Police Sgt. Anita Boynton said the two officers involved in the shooting were put on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure. They have been identified as Officer Rick Chairez and Sgt. A.J. VanderWerf.

Chairez has been with the police department for 15 years. VanderWerf has served the department for six years.

The state Department of Public Safety is investigating the shooting.

The man's identity hasn't been released.