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Phoenix police release cellphone footage of officer-involved shooting

PHOENIX — Cellphone footage was released Friday of a hectic fight between a murder suspect, a pregnant woman and a Phoenix police officer.

The footage, which was shot by a bystander, showed the chaotic moments leading up to the shooting of the suspect and the stabbing of the officer and pregnant woman.

Police responded to the scene near 16th and Van Buren streets on the morning of March 11 after receiving complaints of a woman and man, now identified as 33-year-old Pedro Morales, arguing near the street.

The cellphone footage began shortly after Morales stabbed Phoenix Police Officer Phillip Akins after he attempted to walk back to his police vehicle, according to police.

Morales can be seen wielding a large knife in the video as Akins attempted to diffuse the situation. The suspect then dragged the woman down the street as she said to the officer, “Don’t you dare, don’t you dare shoot him,” before the video ended.

Court records stated the woman then tried to grab the knife as Morales said “(Expletive) you and (expletive) the baby,” before stabbing her in the chest.

The video resumed with the sound of a gunshot, and a struggle can be seen between Akins and Morales, before ending once again.

Records stated that Akins fired at Morales, who continued to approach the officer and reached for his gun. A second shot was fired, which caused Morales to collapse in the road, according to police.

Officers believe Morales was the suspect involved in a burglary and fatal stabbing that occurred the previous night.

He is suspected to have broken into his ex-girlfriend’s apartment around 5:30 p.m. on March 10 near 17th and Adams streets. Morales stabbed Gabriel Stevens, 29, in a bedroom before fleeing the scene, according to the ex-girlfriend. Stevens was pronounced dead that night at 6:19 p.m.

Phoenix police spokesman Sgt. Trent Crump said the 20-year-veteran officer’s actions were very heroic and saved a woman’s life.

“We are very proud of Officer Akins for the tremendous job he did in ending this violent encounter,” he said in a statement. “The restraint that he showed in this situation and his decision not endangering innocent bystanders is remarkable. We are also thankful that he has recovered and is back out working the street.”

Morales has since been booked into jail on suspicion of multiple crimes, including first-degree murder, after spending a couple of weeks in the hospital. His pretrial conference is scheduled for May 28.