Alleged shoplifter hospitalized after being shot by Tempe officer

Sgt. Hector Encinas said officers found a sharp object near the suspect's body.
Published: May. 9, 2023 at 10:00 PM MST|Updated: May. 9, 2023 at 10:38 PM MST
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TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- A shoplifting call led to an officer shooting a man in Tempe on Tuesday night.

According to Sgt. Hector Encinas, police were called out around 7:30 p.m. about a shoplifter at a Walmart near Priest Drive and Elliot Road. Investigators say a man stole a sound bar from the store and refused to stop when store employees tried to intervene.

Police searched the area for the suspect, and one officer found him walking along a nearby canal path behind the Walmart store. Police say “a confrontation occurred” and the suspect was shot by the officer. The suspect was taken to the hospital in critical condition. Encinas said officers found a sharp object near his body. No officers or shoppers were hurt.

The suspect hasn’t been identified. The investigation is ongoing.

This is the 27th officer-involved shooting in Maricopa County and the 34th in the state in 2023.