Detention officer shoots, kills inmate during escape attempt

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
Angel Frescas. 25 By Mike Gertzman Angel Frescas. 25 By Mike Gertzman
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- An inmate who tried to escape was shot and killed during a struggle with a detention officer early Tuesday morning.

It happened in the area of 26th and Roosevelt streets, just north of Maricopa Medical Center.

According to Deputy Joaquin Enriquez, two detention officers were taking three inmates to the hospital.

"Maricopa County Sheriff's Office detention officers transport hundreds of inmates from facility to facility," Enriquez said.

While the inmates were being offloaded, one of the men "was able to slip his restraints." That 23-year-old man took off running east from the hospital.

One of the detention officers chased the escapee while the other secured the remaining two prisoners. Enriquez said investigators do not believe those two inmates were involved in the escape attempt.

The detention officer caught up with the inmate and the two got into a scuffle during which the inmate grabbed the officer's gun.

"There was a shootout here," Enriquez said.

Witnesses reported hearing six shots.

A third detention officer who was already inside the hospital heard the officer's radio calls for help. She arrived on the scene and fired at the inmate, hitting him twice, Enriquez says.

Video from the scene showed two bullet holes in the transport van's windshield. The front tire on the driver's side was shot out, as well.

According to MCSO the dead inmate is 23-year-old Angel Frescas. Frescas was involved in an officer-involved shooting with Phoenix police on Sept. 18. Police shot Frescas once in the torso after he allegedly threatened them with a knife and a gun.

Frescas was facing charges of aggravated assault on a police officer and resisting arrest stemming from that incident. He was on probation for violations at the time.

"Pretty extensive criminal history," Enriquez said.

While it is early in the investigation, detectives do not think the inmate's actions were spur-of-the-moment.

"We are getting some information that the inmate in question here, who was shot, may have had this planned ...," Enriquez told 3TV's Javier Soto. "Not to say that there wasn't any help, but at this point, this is under investigation."

Frescas was in surgery but later died.

No other injuries were reported.

similar incident occurred earlier this month when an inmate ran into a neighborhood near the hospital.