Ex-con's mom disputes police account of shooting

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PHOENIX -- An ex-con with gang ties is dead and a Phoenix police officer is in the hospital after being shot in the leg.

The violence erupted Thursday night near 35th Avenue and Roosevelt Street.

Even though Salvadore Acevedo's mother was not in the area when it all went down, what she believes happened contradicts what Phoenix police say.

Police Chief Daniel Garcia says Acevedo was a violent criminal who tried to kill officers.

"There's no way that I believe that," said mother Bertha Acevedo.

She says she simply can't believe her 31-year-old son would not only shoot at Phoenix police officers but also turn the gun on himself.

When she heard from family members that he might be involved in a shooting, she says she rushed to the scene and knew her son was involved.

"I said, 'Well, that looks like my son's bike there,' " she recalled. "I said, 'He should have been home about an hour ago,' and they said, 'Well, we can't give you no information.' "

Garcia says the exchange was violent and that Acevedo ignored multiple commands to show his hands and caught the officers off guard.

"The suspect went behind his vehicle, took advantage of his position, and he immediately started shooting at the officers," he said.

Garcia says a gang enforcement detective was shot in the leg, but his prognosis looks good.

As for Acevedo, police say he fatally shot himself in the head as a police helicopter circled above the crime scene. Acevedo's mother disputes that claim, saying he was his dying father's caretaker.

"I don't think that that can be true because my husband has stage four cancer and it's day by day, and my son was here and he was here to help me take care of him," Bertha Acevedo said.

She says she will hopefully get the comfort and answers she needs when her son's autopsy is completed over the weekend.


Phoenix police officer injured, suspect dead in shooting