Officer and woman stabbed, homicide suspect shot

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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - A police officer was stabbed after he shot a man who stabbed a woman, according to a spokesman for the Phoenix Police Department.

It happened just before 8 a.m. on Wednesday at 16th Street and Van Buren Street.

The officer confronted the knife-wielding man and told him to put down his weapon. The man did not comply with the officer's demands so the officer fired his gun twice, according to a witness.

It turns out that the knife-wielding man is a suspect in a homicide that occurred in an apartment at 1719 E. Adams Street on Monday evening, according to police.

Police responded to the situation today after receiving numerous calls from citizens.

"We had a fight between a Hispanic male and a Hispanic female," said Sgt. Trent Crump with the Phoenix Police Department. "When our officer did arrive there are numerous witness accounts that the suspect immediately struck our officer, grabbed the female victim who we understand is an on-and-off girlfriend of his."

Sgt. Crump said that is when the 33-year-old suspect stabbed the female. The suspect had the woman in a chokehold and was dragging her through traffic. She is in her mid-20's.

The witness said the man was holding a knife to the woman's head.

"Officer kept telling him to put the knife down, put it down, so then he lunged at the woman with the knife, stabbed her, and that's when the officer shot him one time." said witness Clay Jackson. "Then after that the officer told him to put the knife down. He wouldn't listen. He kept on lunging at the officer and then eventually he stabbed the officer and then the officer shot him again and then the guy just still kept lunging at the officer until eventually the guy just I guess he couldn't stand the pain no more he just kind of collapsed."

The officer was close enough to the man that after he was shot he lunged at the officer and stabbed the officer in the shoulder, according to Jackson.

"After that second shot the suspect remained on the ground and our officer held him there with additional commands until additional backups could arrive to take him to custody," Sgt. Crump said. "The suspect still resisted and fought with our officers. He was ultimately tased."

The knife was described as being fairly kitchen large.

Officers were spread out along Van Buren Street on Wednesday morning questioning everyone who may have seen the incident.

"We have several people who were here, who were witnesses that watched this occur. It was going in between some of the vehicles in the roadway apparently," said Sgt. Trent Crump. "

Sgt. Crump said now investigators are trying to unravel a very complex scene.

"It occurred basically in the intersection and as they proceeded going through traffic, rush hour traffic, on foot back eastbound through some of the vehicles," Sgt. Crump said. "It is a big scene and it is one in which we're trying to figure out from the witnesses and the radio transmissions exactly what happened."

The officer, the man with the knife and the woman who was stabbed were taken to hospitals. Sgt. Crump said the officer would be released from the hospital on Wednesday. The woman has serious stab wounds to her chest. The suspect required surgery for his gunshot wounds. He has life-threatening injuries but he is expected to survive, according to Sgt. Crump.

"He [the officer] was still doing his job here once he was stabbed and we'll hope that's a good sign," said Sgt. Crump. "He was talking with us here. He was continuing to try to deal with this situation as it was going on and last I heard at the hospital they're talking him for some examination, x-rays and CAT scans to see the extent of the injury,"

Sgt. Crump said it appears that the officer's bulletproof vest may have kept the stab wound from being more serious.

THE HOMICIDE

A 29-year-old Hispanic man was stabbed to death in an altercation in an apartment on Adams Street on Monday evening, according to Sgt. Crump.

"There were several people that were in that apartment," said Sgt. Crump. "Apparently there were on-again and off-again relationships of different individuals...it may have been an old girlfriend of his new boyfriend and we've heard different versions of who everybody was in that apartment."

The suspect was identified by other individuals who were in that apartment. Those people also told police that they had been smoking methamphetamine for the past few days.

"It is the same individual that was involved in the stabbing this morning and that stabbed our officer," Sgt. Crump said.

Once he is released from the hospital he will face murder, aggravated assault, aggravated assault on a police officer, and kidnapping charges.

The officer who was stabbed did not have the information about the homicide or the description of the suspect, according to Sgt. Crump.

THE WEAPONS

Police believe two different knives were used in the homicide and the assaults on Wednesday morning.

"I understand that we have located that knife under a vehicle in or near the parking lot of the Jack In The Box," Sgt. Crump said. "And I understand that we've also recovered a knife that we believe was the weapon that was used in last night's homicide in a dumpster or trash a couple of houses down from the location where the homicide occurred."

THE OFFICER

The officer who was stabbed has been with the Phoenix Police Department for 20 years.

"I think that his actions out here this morning are going to be very heroic in what he did in probably saving this female's life out here and certainly putting his own life at risk," said Sgt. Crump. "He has worked this area and remained in this area at his request for his entire career."

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