MCSO used OnStar to disable stolen vehicle before deputies shot home invasion, theft suspectPosted: Updated:
Deputies with the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office shot the suspect in a home invasion and vehicle theft after OnStar disabled the stolen vehicle, ending a miles-long pursuit near Wickenburg Monday morning.
“This incident started with a home invasion in Buckeye,” Sgt. Calbert Gillet of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office said in an email response to our inquiry not long after the incident. "The suspect then stole a car where it took deputies on a pursuit that ended off the U.S. 60 and Gates Road."
Sgt. Joaquin Enriquez of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office said it began with a 911 call regarding the home invasion shortly after 7:30 a.m.
[Raw video: MCSO briefing on pursuit of stolen vehicle]
The person stole a vehicle, leading MSCO and the Department of Public Safety on a pursuit that would end with a deputy-involved shooting nearly an hour away.
"There is information that the suspect driving the stolen vehicle fired shots from the vehicle," Enriquez said at a news conference shortly before noon. "That's still under investigation."
Enriquez confirmed that deputies shot the suspect when the pursuit came to an end.
Aerial video from Bruce Haffner in the Penguin Air and Plumbing News Chopper showed paramedics loading the wounded suspect into an ambulance. Gillett and Enriquez both said the unidentified man's injuries did not appear to be life-threatening.
Enriquez said that during the pursuit, MCSO worked with OnStar to "safely disable" the stolen vehicle.
That vehicle was shut down and rolled to a stop "just prior to the shooting," Enriquez explained.
It's not unusual for law enforcement agencies to ask OnStar, which specializes in emergency, security, navigation and vehicle management services, to remotely shut down vehicles in situations like this.
"It's not something that we abuse," Enriquez said. "It something that's used, obviously, in public safety. This was something that we needed to use immediately to get this vehicle disabled ....
"We're going to use technology in any way we can...," Enriquez continued. "OnStar was a tremendous tool that we actually used in our favor to stop the vehicle. ... We're going to use technology -- law enforcement, in general, is going to use technology -- for our favor to better serve the public."
Haffner's video also showed the vehicle deputies say the suspect stole from the Buckeye home; the driver's side window was hanging from the frame.
[WATCH: Bruce Haffner's live report]
Investigators have not released any information about the suspect or the home invasion that precipitated the chase.
No MCSO or DPS personnel were hurt in the course of the chase and subsequent shooting, Enriquez said, and nobody was injured during the home invasion that started this chain of events.
"The only person hurt in this situation right now is the suspect that was driving a stolen vehicle," he said.
At this point, it's not clear if the suspect and the residents of the Buckeye home were acquainted or if anything besides the vehicle was taken.
MCSO is handling the entire investigation, which involves four different scenes, including the site of the Buckeye home invasion.
Enriquez declined to provide information about the other scenes, saying that he expected detectives to have more details later in the day.
U.S. 60 and Gates Road is in Morristown, which less than 15 minutes south of Wickenburg. That scene is a little less than an hour north of Buckeye, where the home invasion occurred, and about an hour northwest of Phoenix.
This is the 14th officer-involved shooting in Arizona this year. There were 46 officer-involved shootings in the Valley in 2016, plus another 36 in other cities throughout the state for a total of 82 incidents statewide.
Suspect steals car, leads deputies on a chase after home invasion in Buckeye. Pursuit ends near Morristown, almost an hour away. pic.twitter.com/vcpeKtILkc— Kylee Cruz (@KyleeCruzTV) March 27, 2017
No MCSO deputies hurt in deputy involved shooting. PIO will be en-route to the scene. Media staging to follow shortly.— @SgtJEnriquez (@SgtJEnriquez) March 27, 2017
Suspect in home invasion shoots at MCSO deputies, leads them in pursuit that ends near U.S 60 and Gates Road, with deputy involved shooting— @SgtJEnriquez (@SgtJEnriquez) March 27, 2017
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