As two police officers were waiting to return to work, a roadside memorial was going up near where Johnathon Guillory was shot.
Maricopa Police Chief Steve Stahl updated his officers on the mental state of the two on automatic leave, and Guillory neighbor Eric Parten exhorted the city council, at its Jan. 20 meeting, to be more involved. And the MPD was sticking to policy.
Sgt. Leonard Perez and Officer Joshua Hawksworth both fired at Guillory in a common area of the Cobblestone Farms development during a confrontation Jan. 18. Guillory died.
The Department of Public Safety quickly took over the investigation, which continues.
Perez and Hawksworth were handled according to MPD policy. Only supervisors, investigators and their Peer Support Team were allowed contact with them during their paid leave, and only on a limited basis.
Stahl was one of the superiors allowed to be in contact with them. He said it was important to them to know their fellow officers wanted to offer support. The chief told his officers the incident was something that would stay with Perez and Hawksworth for the rest of their lives.
Reportedly suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following military service in Iraq and as a contractor in Afghanistan, Guillory had previous dealings with the police at his home on Garden Lane. He also had prior arrests in Maricopa County, according to court records.
In 2013 in Maricopa County, charges included driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, DUI with a blood-alcohol content of .08 or more, driving on a canceled license, possession of false driver license and speeding. In 2014, charges included possession of narcotics and drug paraphernalia, theft by misrepresentation and disorderly conduct. He was convicted of the class 1 misdemeanor theft charge and given probation.
The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office was attempting to vacate the suspension of prosecution. The Superior Court had set a status conference on reinstating prosecution for Feb. 2.
Guillory was licensed as an unarmed security guard through DPS.
Now, Parten’s main concerns are for a 4-year-old, a 9-year-old and a widow
He told InMaricopa.com Guillory’s young children often came down the street to play with his children.
“As a community, we need to be a voice for these children, making sure the deceased get appropriate legal representation,” Parten said. “We had a killing in this community. I heard that a family member said there is no reason that this should have happened.”
He said the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ website for the National Center for PTSD and military.com list the first action to take for a veteran suffering a PTSD crisis is to call 911. By early reports on the incident, that is what Guillory did that day.
The 911 calls from the house were listed as hang-ups when MPD responded. MPD later reported Guillory was outside with a gun, which he pointed at the responding officers.
According to MPD policy 1.68, “Officers involved at the scene of a shooting incident shall take those measures that are reasonably necessary to protect themselves, the public, ensure the safety of the officers and to preserve any and all evidence.”
By policy, the top priorities at a shooting scene are preservation of life, scene stabilization, suspect apprehension, property preservation, evidence collection and environmental protection.
Afterward, even supervisors are only allowed to ask general questions of the involved officers about the incident, with the details reserved for the investigating organization and the officers’ attorneys.
DPS is limiting the amount of information on the shooting it is releasing to the public.
“I just don’t want this to die and go away. It would be an injustice to our community,” Parten said.