Glendale police identify suspect killed in officer-involved shooting

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Arizona Department of Corrections' photo of Stephen Wayne Ross By Jennifer Thomas Arizona Department of Corrections' photo of Stephen Wayne Ross By Jennifer Thomas
Stephen Wayne Ross By Jennifer Thomas Stephen Wayne Ross By Jennifer Thomas

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Glendale police have released the name of a man who was fatally shot Thursday morning while a fugitive task force was attempting to arrest him on felony warrants.

Stephen Wayne Ross, 43, was shot in the parking lot of a shopping center at Thunderbird Road and 59th Avenue. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Glendale Police Wanted Fugitive Task Force detectives were attempting to apprehend Ross on felony warrants and related fraud and forgery cases, according to Glendale police spokeswoman Officer Tracey Breeden. Ross also had outstanding felony warrants for his arrest for dangerous drugs as well as aggravated identity theft and forgery.

Ross allegedly tried to escape arrest after his blue pickup truck was boxed in by undercover law enforcement vehicles in the parking lot. Breeden said Ross was shot after he began aggressively driving his truck toward detectives and ramming their vehicles.

Police have not said how many shots were fired, but 15 bullet holes were counted on the pickup truck's windshield.

Breeden said a handgun was recovered during a search of Ross' vehicle.

Breeden said Ross had a violent criminal history as well as a history of fleeing from police.

Ross and his wife were arrested in August on mail theft charges. Police said there were hundreds of victims.

The Glendale Police Department determined only one of its detectives fired a weapon. He has been identified as Detective Jim Carlo.

Carlo is an 18-year veteran of the Glendale Police Department. He has been placed on paid administrative leave as is standard practice in any officer-involved shooting.

Police said the actual number of shooters cannot be confirmed until the U.S. marshals who were involved are interviewed by detectives next week.

But the U.S. Marshals Service said one deputy U.S. marshal opened fire and will also be placed on administrative leave.

David Gonzalez, U.S. marshal for Arizona, said the agency will also review its training and tactics, which is also typical after a critical incident.

This is the second time in the past two weeks that U.S. marshals have been involved in a shooting, which Gonzales said is rare.

"In these particular cases in the last two weeks, they both pulled out guns and, if they would have gone peacefully and given up, there wouldn't have been a problem," he said. "We do this four or five times a day without incidents."

Last year, five in 5,000 fugitive arrests in Arizona resulted in shots fired.

"When you're dealing with fugitives who do not want to go back to prison, who know they're going to go back to prison, they're going to do everything they can to get away," Gonzales said.

He described Thursday's setup as ideal for making an arrest because the suspect was inside a vehicle and surrounded by police cars.

"But in this case, he decided he wanted to go down fighting," Gonzales said. "He was spinning his tires, he was ramming the police cars to get away ... and then he brandished a weapon. We know the results."