Phoenix investigators ID man shot dead outside police station

Posted: Updated:
Cactus police precinct at 3900 W. Cactus Rd. (Source: KPHO/KTVK) Cactus police precinct at 3900 W. Cactus Rd. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
(Source: KPHO/KTVK) (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
(Source: KPHO/KTVK) (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Investigators have released the name of a man shot and killed by police outside a Phoenix precinct station Saturday morning.

The victim was identified as 41-year-old Lonnie Niesen. Two officers have been placed on paid administrative leave pending further review.

The incident began to unfold  at 11:45 a.m. when a Phoenix police sergeant felt an object strike his marked patrol car stopped at a traffic light at 3900 W. Cactus Rd., just outside the local police precinct.

The sergeant saw Niesen screaming at him and noticed damaged to the lower portion of the driver’s door from an object believed to be a brick or large rock, Phoenix Police Sgt. Jonathan Howard said.

The sergeant radioed for help and turned his vehicle around in an attempt to approach Niesen.

Niesen walked away and gathered more rocks and/or bricks as he entered the visitor parking lot of the precinct, Howard said.

An officer inside the precinct was coming out to help the sergeant but stopped when the suspect threw more objects, either bricks or rocks, at the building, Howard said. A window in the lobby was shattered.

As Niesen began to walk away, the officer inside was able to come out and assist, Howard said.

“The suspect was still holding rocks/bricks and was refusing to stop, drop the objects, or obey any police direction,” Howard said.

Niesen suddenly turned toward the officers and threw a rock or brick at the officers, Howard said.  The officer fired one shot from his handgun as the object struck his hand. 

[RELATED: Officer at police precinct shoots, kills brick-throwing man]

“Officers immediately began life-saving efforts and the suspect was taken to a local hospital by Phoenix Fire, where he died of his injuries,” Howard said.

The officer had a minor injury to his hand. He was treated at the scene. 

Niesen’s family told detectives that he had stolen a gun and bottle of alcohol the day before, Howard said. 

“He returned the morning of this incident apparently impaired, returned the gun, and then left while making suicidal statements,” Howard said.

The incident remains under investigation. 

Copyright 2015 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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