Phoenix police: Armed man tried to break into apartment shot, killed by officers
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — Phoenix police say officers shot and killed a man who raised his gun at authorities after an attempted break-in at an apartment complex Saturday night.
According to officers, police responded to a fight call around 7 p.m. where officers say the man, 76-year-old Dwight Cornwell, was trying to get his belongings from an apartment near 14th Street and Bell Road. As no one answered the doors, he initially agreed to leave for the night. Around an hour later, however, police say a woman called the police about an armed man trying to break a window to get inside the house. Officers showed up again and found Cornwell in the parking lot of the complex.
Authorities say that at that point, he pulled the gun and, against officers’ commands, continued displaying it. Officers deployed less-lethal tools when Cornwell raised the gun and fired it into the air. That’s when one or more officers returned fire, hitting the suspect. Police say they provided medical aid until paramedics arrived. Cornwell was pronounced dead on the scene. No officers were injured. No other information has been released as the investigation remains ongoing.
Niya Brooks says her SUV was hit during the shooting. The back passenger window is shattered, and there are bullet holes in different parts of her car, as well as powder residue left behind by pepper balls used on the suspect. She found her car this way Sunday morning. “There’s a bullet hole right here on the side of my door. The window is completely shattered, and glass on the ground. I don’t even see an exit hole for the bullet (on the door), so I don’t even know if it’s still in my car,” said Brooks.
She saw Cornwell’s body next to her car. “I just turned, froze, and went into my house and started crying,” said Brooks. “Honestly, I still feel a little bit numb in my body. Knowing I’ll have to drive home every day, knowing that the body was like by my car, my parking spot.”
Jack Blackwell lives in the apartment complex. He heard gunshots but thought they were fireworks and is now feeling concerned after renewing his lease. “I do kind of wish there was more information on it. If they were a resident here or something like that, just so I can have a bit more information.”
This is the 22nd officer-involved shooting in Maricopa County and the 28th in the state this year.
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