Maricopa police shot and killed an armed man who was making threats at his Homestead residence on Sunday morning.
The incident, the city’s first officer-involved fatal shooting since 2015, occurred at the corner of West Robbins Drive and North Mac Neil Street in the Homestead North community.
Homestead family on shooting: ‘shocked’ but ‘safe’
According to Sgt. Hal Koozer, police spokesman, two officers responded to a report at 7:49 a.m. of a man threatening with a gun. The man engaged with officers outside the home and the altercation spilled into the street at the intersection. Officers fired at the man, striking him. He fell in the street.
Paramedics gave lifesaving efforts on scene, but the man was pronounced dead after being taken to Chandler Regional Hospital, Koozer said. The officers were not injured in the incident.
Law enforcement investigators were still on the scene at 3 p.m.
Neither the man nor the officers were identified by police. Authorities were still trying to notify the man’s next of kin, according to Koozer.
It was unknown if the man discharged his weapon, said Koozer. The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office will investigate the incident. Investigators will try to determine if the man fired on officers and whether one or both officers fired on the resident, and whose gunfire struck the man.
Koozer said the investigation has not yet determined who made the initial call alerting police to the situation. Investigators are looking into whether it was a neighbor, someone in the home, or possibly the victim himself.
A resident of nearby Novak Lane said she was in the bedroom of her home when she heard 4-5 gunshots shortly after 8 a.m. That account matches what a number of Homestead residents reported hearing in posts on Facebook.
The officers involved in the shooting were taken into the police station for questioning, according to Koozer.
“This now becomes a homicide investigation,” he said. “The officers will be interviewed. They will have their rights just like anybody else, and they will have representation. They will be able to share their side of what happened. The officers are separated from each other (during questioning).”
The officers will be placed on administration leave with pay for a minimum of three days, standard procedure in officer-involved shootings, Koozer said, noting such incidents are rare in Maricopa.
“We were just talking about that,” Koozer said. “There haven’t been many. I think the last one was in 2015 in Cobblestone. Our officers have done a good job saving a lot of lives through the years and their de-escalation techniques are right on point.”
In that incident, in January 2015, Maricopa officers Leonard Perez and Joshua Hawksworth shot and killed 32-year-old Johnathon Guillory.
The officers had responded to Guillory’s home in Cobblestone Farms on a welfare check after 911 calls originated from the home. When police arrived, Guillory was walking outside and believed to have a weapon. An ensuing confrontation led to the man being shot when the officers felt threatened, according to police.
The Arizona Department of Public Safety investigated the incident.
Guillory, who served in the military in Iraq, had a wife and two children.
Maricopa police said they had had multiple contacts with Guillory prior to the incident, according to DPS.
Our Police have to make split second life and death situations. What ever happened to ‘Respect the Police’? When I was coming up, my folks told me ‘The police are your friends’.
I still believe that. Lets give them a little support and less hassle.