An armed robbery suspect who barricaded himself in a Tempe senior living center after being shot by police Wednesday morning has died.
Lt. Mike Pooley with the Tempe Police Department said the Walgreens at Guadalupe Road and McClintock Drive was robbed by a black male wearing gray sweatpants around 9 a.m.
The suspect went inside the store and went to the pharmacy where he jumped over the counter and said he had a gun, according to Pooley. The man had his hand in a black bag.
The robber then demanded liquid narcotics from the pharmacist.
"He began threatening them, saying he was going to kill them and that he had a firearm," Pooley said.
The victims handed over a certain amount of bottles of liquid narcotics and the suspect then fled the scene.
"When we have these kinds of calls, we have a priority zero response," Pooley said. "We had all our officers that were available. They responded to the area, to the scene. When they got to the scene nobody was located."
Police later saw a man matching the suspect description wearing gray sweatpants and no shirt, carrying a black bag at Rural and Guadalupe roads and an officer went to contact him, but he fled on foot and the officer pursued him, Pooley said.
Pooley said a lieutenant arrived and was able to locate the man at Rural Road and Westchester Drive. There was some kind of a scuffle altercation and the lieutenant fired at least one round, hitting the suspect.
The suspect ran into a storage facility at the nearby Westchester Senior Living facility.
Officers began evacuating the senior center.
Pooley said one of the workers at the facility saw the suspect barricade himself in the back room.
"That's when our SWAT team came out," Pooley said. "We had to go in there and get him out. He did have a gunshot wound."
Pooley said the suspect was shot at least once. It's not clear if the SWAT officers also fired at the suspect.
"Our officer is OK," Pooley said. "He had minor injuries. He was taken to the hospital."
Police are still waiting to interview that lieutenant. He was wearing a body camera but it was not on during the shooting, Pooley said.
Pooley said police have not located a firearm and are still trying to determine if the suspect had a weapon.
"We gotta wait for the Medical Examiner's Office to tell us exact cause of death but at this point, everything indicates and shows and points that the officer, the officer's firearm caused him to die," Pooley said.
Police and the Marcos de Niza High School administration called for a "shelter-in-place" as a precaution. Staff and a few students were on campus at the time.
The suspect has not been identified.
Currently working in active situation at rolling Guadalupe. More info shortly— Tempe Police (@TempePolice)July 27, 2016
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