Police: Man dead after DUI investigation leads to officer-involved shooting in north Phoenix
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Police say a man suspected of drunk driving died after an encounter with officers led to an officer-involved shooting in north Phoenix on Saturday afternoon.
Around 2:30 p.m., Phoenix police received a call about a suspected drunk driver near Central Avenue and Bell Road. Police say the caller told dispatch they could see the driver drinking from an alcohol bottle, driving erratically, swerving through the roads, and almost hitting pedestrians. The caller stayed on the phone with police dispatchers as they followed the driver to an apartment complex near 12th Street and Bell Road. Officers arrived a short time later and found the truck described in the call, the driver was still inside.
“If you see an intoxicated vehicle that you suspect has been intoxicated, and they’re posing a threat to the community, contact 911 and give us as much description as you possibly can,” said Phoenix Police Sergeant Brian Bower.
Police say officers saw a rifle in the front of the truck and asked the man to get out of the vehicle. Officers saw signs of suspected intoxication and began a DUI investigation. During that investigation, one of the officers noticed a handgun in the driver’s side door pocket, and according to police, that is when the man went to the door and grabbed the gun.
Police say the officer struggled with the man for control of the gun, and that’s when a second officer shot the suspect. The man was taken to the hospital, where he died from injuries. “We saw someone getting pulled away on a stretcher. It was a little bit of a shock. You don’t see something like this happen everyday in your apartment,” said Animesh Gandhi, a neighbor at the apartment complex.
The area of Central Avenue and Bell Road will remain closed as police continue to investigate. Police say the officers involved in the shooting will be part of a criminal and administrative investigation and have not released the man’s identity.
This is the 10th officer-involved shooting in Maricopa County and the 13th in the state this year.
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