Suspected shoplifter shot by police faces 11 counts of retail theft

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX  -- We're now getting our first look at a shoplifting suspect who was shot by police as he tried to run from officers Friday night.  3TV has also learned the alleged serial shoplifter now faces 11 counts of retail theft.

Shortly before 8 p.m. Friday, March 21, two Phoenix police officers were investigating a shoplifting at the Walmart on Happy Valley Road near Interstate 17.

During their investigation, the officers were advised of an unrelated shoplifting in progress. A loss prevention officer believed a serial shoplifter had returned to the store and was trying to steal speakers.

That alleged serial shoplifter, Rodney McCullough, fled the store after seeing a uniformed security guard, police said.

The officer gave chase, and police say McCullough jumped into his car, which was parked nearby.

The officer punched the driver's window several times, and the man started to back up the car with the officer's arm still inside, according to police.

Police said the officer freed his arm but was then in front of the vehicle, and the man put the car in drive and raced the engine. Believing he was going to be hit by the car, the officer reportedly fired one shot, striking McCullough. McCullough is expected to recover.

Police say they found more than $9K worth of stolen electronics in McCullough's apartment.