Police ID arson suspect wounded in officer-involved shooting

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Police on Monday identified the arson suspect wounded in an officer-involved shooting nearly a month ago and the cop who pulled the trigger. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) Police on Monday identified the arson suspect wounded in an officer-involved shooting nearly a month ago and the cop who pulled the trigger. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
Fire units waited for police to clear the scene prior to going into the property and extinguishing the fire on March 28, 2018. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Fire units waited for police to clear the scene prior to going into the property and extinguishing the fire on March 28, 2018. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Mug shot of William Willis, 48. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) Mug shot of William Willis, 48. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Police on Monday identified the arson suspect wounded in an officer-involved shooting nearly a month ago and the cop who pulled the trigger.

Sgt. Jonathan Howard of the Phoenix Police Department says William Willis, 48, was armed with what appeared to be a handgun and a knife when police encountered him at the scene of a house fire early the morning of Wednesday, March 28.

He was in the yard of the home next door to the house to which the Phoenix Fire Department was called in the area of 23rd Street and Osborn Road.

[ORIGINAL STORY: PD: Possible arson suspect hurt in officer-involved shooting in Phoenix]

“Officers gave commands to the suspect and retreated to cover behind cars parked in the street,” Howard explained in a news release.  “The suspect ignored police commands and advanced on an officer.”

That officer, Jason Bloom, “fired several rounds,” hitting Willis.

Bloom held Willis at gunpoint until additional police officers arrived. Bloom, 38, was not injured. He has 14 years on the job.

After Willis was treated by the Phoenix Fire Department, he was transported to a local hospital and received treatment until he was booked into Fourth Avenue Jail on April 23. He is charged with aggravated assault on a police officer, endangerment, arson of an occupied structure and misconduct with explosives.

[PDF: Original police report on 48-year-old William Willis]

Investigators on scene located a BB gun and knife in the front yard where Willis was located at the time he pointed a gun at the officers, according to court documents.

In the backyard, containers with flammable liquids were located on the ground and patio roof.

After Willis was discharged from the hospital, he was interviewed at the Phoenix Police Department headquarters. He requested a lawyer and no interview was conducted, documents said.

[SPECIAL SECTION: 2018 Officer-involved shootings]

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