Ex-girlfriend worried Nicholas Cowan ‘would kill her’ before shooting Phoenix officer

It became a days-long manhunt for Nicholas Cowan after he shot a Phoenix police officer and tried to shoot another.
Published: Apr. 18, 2022 at 3:48 PM MST|Updated: Apr. 18, 2022 at 11:43 PM MST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - For the first time, the now ex-girlfriend of Nicholas Cowan spoke about what she watched happen during the shooting of a police officer and what was happening with Cowan minutes before. She asked we don’t show her face to protect her privacy. We have also chosen not to use her name.

It became a days-long manhunt for Nicholas Cowan after he shot a Phoenix police officer and tried to shoot another. His ex-girlfriend said it began with domestic violence at her home.

“He told me he was going to blow his brains out and make me watch, and then he was choking me until I couldn’t breathe,” she said. She said Cowan was in such mental distress she came to work to try to call 911 for an ambulance, already concerned about what would happen if the police showed up. She said she works at the gas station at Cave Creek and Beardsley where the shooting took place but wasn’t working at the time.

Instead, she went to the station for help and told Arizona’s Family that since Cowan took her cell phone, she wanted to use the gas station phone to call in help for him since he was in mental distress. She’s completely scarred from what happened next.

“I thought he was going to kill me,” she said. “I came up here to use the phone, and then I told the cops I didn’t want the cops going to my house, because I was afraid he was going to shoot them.” She said she was standing talking to the female police officer when Cowan pulled up to the gas station right next to them. “He pulled up and rolled down his window and shot her, and I ran inside and there was bullets everywhere, soda pop everywhere, and glass and I ran in the back and hid back here for a while,” his ex-girlfriend said.

She said she still doesn’t know who Cowan’s intended target was and that she’s still shaken up by how violent this all turned. “I don’t know if he was shooting at her or shooting at me,” she said. “It’s just crazy you sleep next to somebody thinking that you know them, and you don’t know them at all.”

Tearing up while talking about the female officer, she said she feels terrible that the officer is hurt and in the hospital and is thankful she’s still alive. She said she breathed a sigh of relief knowing Cowan was taken into custody but that she’s still trying to process what happened that led to a days-long manhunt.