Dangerous weekend after three shootings involving officers across Arizona

Three officer-involved shootings happened over the weekend, including in Waddell, Arizona City and Maricopa.
Published: Aug. 8, 2022 at 7:25 PM MST

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Different law enforcement agencies are investigating three separate officer-involved shootings over the weekend. The most recent was in Maricopa on Sunday evening. On Sunday night, investigators say Maricopa police exchanged gunfire with 50-year-old Michael Zapata after a pursuit near Porter Road and the Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway.

Around 6 p.m., Maricopa police received a call about an aggravated assault in the Homestead neighborhood. Shortly after police arrived, a pursuit began between Zapata and officers. Zapata then crashed into another car near Porter Road and Maricopa Casa Grande Highway.

After the crash, investigators say Zapata began shooting at officers, who returned fire. Zapata was not shot and had minor injuries, and was taken to the hospital. Sgt. Hal Koozer said at least one innocent person was hospitalized in the initial crash. “During that time gunshot was exchanged,” he said. “The suspect is at the hospital right now and no officers were hurt in the situation; thank goodness,” he said on Sunday night.

Zapata was released from the hospital on Monday and booked into jail. Officers have not said what charges he faces. No officers were hurt.

In Arizona City, Pinal County Sheriff’s Deputies shot a man carrying a knife who they say was intoxicated. Police say the man was wandering through a neighborhood near Overfield Road and Pineveta Drive. Deputies arrived, and that’s when the shooting occurred. The man was taken to the hospital, and no officers were hurt. PCSO says they are still investigating, and it’s unknown what led up to the shooting. The suspect’s name has not been released.

In Waddell, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office says an armed man was taken to the hospital after a domestic violence call led to a shooting on Saturday night. Around 7:30 p.m., deputies were called to a home near Perryville Road and Olive Avenue. When they arrived, they learned that a man with a gun was threatening people inside. Deputies set up a perimeter and told the suspect to leave the house, but he didn’t comply. At some point, he came out of the garage while armed and threatened deputies.

After refusing to follow commands, deputies and the suspect exchanged gunfire, and the man went back inside the home. SWAT teams went inside the house and took the suspect into custody. Deputies say the suspect was taken to the hospital with a non-life-threatening gunshot injury. Investigators are still working to determine if deputies shot him or if he shot himself. His name has not been released. No officers or bystanders were hurt.