2 Phoenix PD officers out of the hospital after man allegedly shoots at police car

Published: Mar. 13, 2022 at 5:11 AM MST|Updated: Mar. 14, 2022 at 3:02 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - The Phoenix Police Department says two of their officers are out of the hospital after a man allegedly shot at a patrol car, injuring them inside this past weekend. Devonte Thornton, 28, was arrested Sunday night, according to Sgt. Vincent Cole.

Police arrested Devonte Thornton, 28, Sunday night, according to Sgt. Vincent Cole of the...
Police arrested Devonte Thornton, 28, Sunday night, according to Sgt. Vincent Cole of the Phoenix Police Department.(Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)

It all started when two officers were trying to conduct a traffic stop in the area of 27th and Maryland avenues at about 1 a.m. Sunday. The driver took off but was later found by officers who attempted to stop the car again. As they were driving along, someone standing on the side of the road, now believed to have been Thornton, opened fire and hit the patrol car multiple times. Police say the officer on the passenger side was hit in the wrist, while the officer driving was hurt by flying glass. Both officers were taken to the hospital for their injuries. On Monday, officials said they were out of the hospital.

The driver the officers were originally trying to stop was later identified as 18-year-old Javon Beasley. Beasley tried to take off on foot but was arrested by police a short time later. He was booked on suspicion of felony flight.

Thornton was booked on suspicion of attempted homicide.

Two Phoenix officers were injured overnight in a shooting near 27th Avenue and Maryland. PD is searching for a suspect.

Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams spoke early Sunday morning. She says talking with the community outside a hospital has become “all too familiar.”

Williams says it appears that officers were “shot by someone hiding in the darkness literally trying to pick our officers off.”

Angeliea Mendivil is a nearby resident and she says the shooting has her worried for her kids’ safety. “We heard screeching, then we heard popping, and then we saw sirens. It makes me want to leave my lease and just leave. I’ve got kids. It’s not nice, it’s not safe,” said Mendivil.

Another resident named Chris said he is also looking to leave the area after the shooting. “I get up at three or four in the morning to go to work...and there’s cops pulling into the parking lot, stopping cars and searching for people every three nights,” he explained. “I’ve been here for a couple of months. And I’m searching for a way to get out of it right now. I’m not used to this environment, gunshots coming through the windows, and all that kind of stuff.”

Mayor Kate Gallego also tweeted about the shooting. “Last night a Phoenix Police officer was shot. Intentional acts of violence toward our officers are not acceptable. We are grateful the attack was not more severe. Please join me in supporting those who protect us,” Gallego posted.

Cole with the Phoenix Police says officers are still piecing together what occurred. “So the distance of how far they were away, and their relationship to people in the car we’re still trying to establish. And that’s what our detectives are working on now,” explained Cole.

This is the second officer-involved shooting with Phoenix police this weekend.

Court documents say that investigators found a backpack in the apartment where Thornton was arrested that contained the receiver bottom half of a handgun, three baggies of cocaine and a credit card in his name. A second receiver part of a handgun and a gun slide part of a handgun were also found inside the apartment.

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to correct Devonte Thornton’s age.