Crime spree in stolen produce truck ends in officer-involved shooting

Posted: Updated:
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

A suspect driving a stolen produce truck was shot by police after he caused several crashes.

This all started with a collision near 48th Street and Broadway Road at around 11:30 a.m.

[MAP: 48th Street and Broadway Road]

Phoenix police Sgt. Jonathan Howard says the suspect, who was driving a stolen produce truck, rear-ended one car, then, as he backed up, hit a second car.

Howard said the suspect, a 31-year-old man whose name has not been released, in the stolen truck then took off.

But, the two drivers that he had hit took off after him.

"They followed him southbound on 48th Street, and then they were westbound on Southern Avenue," said Howard.

They all wound up at the intersection of 32nd Street and Southern.

[MAP: 32nd Street and Southern Avenue]

The light at that intersection was red, but Howard says the suspect ran the red light and drove straight into the intersection, where he struck a van. The driver of that van had minor injuries.

"During that collision, the produce truck turned over on its side," said Howard.

The crash was so loud, a 10-year-old boy heard it inside a nearby apartment and went with his uncle to check it out. 

Marcus Mackey shared shaky cell phone video exclusively with Arizona's Family of an officer hiding behind a bus stop. He said the suspect was in the blue truck.

"The cops started yelling at the dude to get out of the truck and then he wouldn't get out of the truck, so they started taking cover behind things," said Mackey who was nervous while recording. "I was scared first and then I calmed down and walked back home."

Mackey's grandmother, Pamela Moore, didn't go to the scene and was shocked to learn what her grandson witnessed. She feels fortunate more people weren't hurt. 

"I'm so glad he's OK," she said. "I don't want my kids to ever have to witness things like this, but now more often it's a part of life." 

After the crash, good Samaritans in the area began to come over to the accident scene to see if they could help.

But it wasn't over.

Howard says the suspect then jumped into the car of one of the good Samaritans who had stopped to help! 

Fortunately, the good Samaritan had taken his keys with him, so the suspect couldn't drive away.

"In an emergency, this man had his wits about him," said Howard. 

Officers who were already in the area heard people yelling at the suspect to get out of the car.

Howard said officers were trying to talk to the suspect when he jumped out of the car with a gun and pointed it at police.

"During conversations with this man, through the closed door, he suddenly jumped out with a handgun," said Howard.

That's when Howard said an officer fired a shot.

"One officer fired his handgun," said Howard. "That suspect was struck. He has been taken to a local hospital. I've been told the most recent update is that his injuries are not life-threatening."

At last check, that suspect was still in the hospital; he is expected to recover.

The officer who shot the suspect is a 49-year-old man with 25 years' experience. He has been placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure any time an officer fires his or her weapon.

No officers were hurt.

[SPECIAL SECTION: 2018 officer-involved shootings]

[SPECIAL SECTION: 2017 officer-involved shootings]

The Maricopa County Department of Transportation advised that the intersection of 32nd Street and Southern were closed in all directions, and advised drivers to avoid the area,

The intersection was expected to be closed for up to six hours.

Click/tap here to download the free azfamily mobile app.

Copyright 2018 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.