Phoenix police search for armed suspect in auto theft

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

PHOENIX -- Phoenix police are searching for a suspect who rammed a patrol vehicle and fired on officers.

Police spokesman James Holmes said officers were conducting a search on the city's west side Sunday morning.

Authorities say the incident started around 4:45 a.m. when officers began pursuing a stolen truck.

They say the driver pulled into a driveway and then allegedly backed into a police car several times. Officers shot at the vehicle but the suspect drove off.

Police say the truck crashed into a tree and burst into flames, but the driver then fled on foot.

"It was a loud boom and a lot of sirens going," said Catherine Smith.

She and her family woke up to the commotion.

"There's a car that's all crashed and it went into the neighbor's yard, and then it was caught on fire," she said. "And we could see the ... police car that's down there all crashed and everything."

Holmes said the suspect is armed.

"The officers have an immediate concern now and that is for the residents that are inside that home," Holmes said. "So, they make contact with them, make sure they're OK, and then we set up a perimeter in attempt to find the suspect."

The search was between 37th and 42nd avenues just north of Thomas Road.

Motorists were told not to drive in that area.

The suspect is only described as a light-skinned Hispanic or white male wearing a white T-shirt and a baseball cap.

"Sure it concerns me," Smith said. "But I know that the officers, they do a good job, and I feel that they will catch these guys."