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Man who police say shot at Phoenix officers during hours-long standoff identified

New video released Wednesday shows a couple taking cover while gunshots rang out during a standoff between Phoenix police and a man.
Published: May. 25, 2022 at 11:28 AM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Police have identified the man who shot at police officers during an hours-long standoff in north Phoenix on Tuesday evening. Jose Samaniego Chacon Jr., 25, was arrested on 17 counts of aggravated assault against police, burglary, attempted armed robbery, and other charges.

All of this started when a call came in about someone trying to steal a car. According to Phoenix police, around 4 p.m., officers responded to reports of a robbery near 32nd Street and Union Hills Drive. A suspect, later identified as Chacon Jr., tried to rob someone in their vehicle around 3 p.m.

“I went into the Circle K to get a Diet Coke, when I came out, there was what I thought to be a Hispanic male with no shirt on and his pants sagging down pretty low, and he was trying to open my driver door,” said Brian Dyer. “I came out, and I said, ‘what are you doing?’ He goes, ‘sorry, I thought this was my truck.’ So he walked away immediately. By the time I got in my car pulling out, there were two guys in a huge work truck that said, ‘did that guy just try to get into your truck?’ I said yes; they said, ‘well, he tried to get into my truck too. Which way did he go?’”

People in a north Phoenix neighborhood are recalling Tuesday's chaotic standoff with police and a man who shot at officers.

A police sergeant spotted Chacon Jr. running from the area into a neighborhood. People who live on Rosemonte Drive said they saw several officers looking for Chacon Jr. They said he was bouncing from backyard to backyard and eventually broke into the house on the corner. “Police officers have told us don’t move anything in the back of your house yet,” Bob McClay, a neighbor said. He explained Chacon likely broke into his backyard first.

Sgt. Andy Williams with the Phoenix Police Department described what happened as officers were looking for Chacon Jr. “About one hour later, as officers were searching along the road here, shots began to ring out from one of the houses behind me,” said Williams. “From that point, we had a few officers that were in a bad position, one of them had to be rescued, extracted by our special assignments unit.”

While officers and a police K9 searched the neighborhood, police say Chacon Jr. began shooting from inside a home he had broken into. Police say nobody was home at the time. Chacon Jr. fired multiple rounds at groups of officers but didn’t hit any of them. In total, 17 officers were shot at, and a lieutenant was injured by shrapnel, but did not need to go to the hospital. At least three officers returned fire.

“Me and my wife ran and we got behind our car and there was a cop right there to try to protect us,” Jose Balbastro said. Balbastro said an officer called, asking to meet him on the corner so he could see his home’s surveillance camera video. That’s when the shooting started. “I didn’t feel that nervous about it but today after thinking about it, all day long, I started kind of shaking,” he explained.

Other neighbors shared their reaction. “The guy broke into the house and had full access to his house. And then apparently broke into his gun safe and had access to his guns. That was the scariest part; police didn’t know what they were up against,” said Shannon Kusmit, whose father lives nearby.

More officers arrived, and police began trying to negotiate with Chacon Jr. Authorities say they wanted to avoid an armed confrontation, so officers used several less-lethal strategies to get Chacon Jr. to come out peacefully. After several hours, Chacon Jr. surrendered and was arrested. Chacon Jr. was taken to the hospital for minor injuries.

Kusmit said she and other neighbors were calling the homeowner, who was on vacation with his family. “Brian did get in contact with police and was working with them to let them know what supplies he basically had, which was great,” Kusmit said.

Phoenix Police say they are working to determine if Chacon used the homeowner’s guns or if he also brought his own gun into the house. This is the 32nd officer-involved shooting in the Valley for 2022 and is the 39th for the state of Arizona.