Phoenix police ID soldier killed in officer-involved shooting

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William R. Osterlind was walking through a neighborhood wearing Army fatigues and holding a handgun. By Mike Gertzman William R. Osterlind was walking through a neighborhood wearing Army fatigues and holding a handgun. By Mike Gertzman
By Brad Denny By Brad Denny
By Brad Denny By Brad Denny
By Brad Denny By Brad Denny
By Brad Denny By Brad Denny

PHOENIX – Phoenix police have identified an 18-year-old man who was shot by police after showing up at a teen girl's home and walking around with a handgun in the neighborhood.

Sgt. Trent Crump said a 14-year-old girl called police Tuesday afternoon after she saw William R. Osterlind in the area of her home and found presents at her doorstep believed to be from him. She told officers that Osterlind had told her he was drinking and he was threatening suicide.

The girl informed police that she and Osterlind had developed a relationship through texting and that earlier this year he went to her home near Tatum Boulevard and Deer Valley Road and the two engaged in alleged sexual contact. Crump said this was not reported to police at the time.

While officers were speaking to the teen, several residents in the area reported that a suspicious person wearing Army fatigues and armed with a handgun was walking around a wash.

Officers located the suspect who matched the teen's description of Osterlind and gave several commands for him to drop the handgun, but he refused to comply and placed the gun to his head then walked toward the girl's home.

A woman was placing her three young children into a vehicle as Osterlind was approaching the driveway of the girl's house. Crump said she saw the suspect approaching with the handgun so she gathered her children and quickly ran from her vehicle. An officer assisted them as they fled for their safety.

At approximately 4 p.m., an officer armed with an AR 15 rifle and a police sergeant took position behind a truck a couple of houses to the east.

"As Osterlind walked towards the front door of the victim's residence the officer fired one round from his rifle as he believed the suspect presented a deadly threat to the two young girls inside the house," Crump said.

Osterlind was struck in his right side and fell to the ground.

Crump said the suspect simultaneously fired one round from his handgun, which entered the closed front door of the house and struck the teen's 12-year-old sister in the leg.

Osterlind was transported to a hospital where he later died.

Crump said Osterlind had just completed Army basic training and was home on leave.

The 12-year-old girl was transported to a hospital where medical staff determined her injury was not life-threatening. The 14-year-old was not injured.

The officer's name has not been released. Crump said he has been with the Phoenix Police Department for six years.

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