Phoenix police shoot, kill armed man aiming at traffic

Dec 18, 2018, 6:18 AM | Updated: Dec 20, 2018, 1:40 pm
(AP File Photo)...
(AP File Photo)
(AP File Photo)

PHOENIX — Police in Phoenix shot and killed a man late Monday they said was walking down a street pointing a gun at cars and refusing to heed their commands.

It was the 42nd officer-involved shooting of the year by the department. The suspect, later identified as 34-year-old Jose Manuel Cardenas, Jr., was shot near 35th Avenue and Camelback Road, where he was later pronounced dead.

ABC15 reported the man and a woman had been inside a vehicle and were arguing before he got out of the car. As she drove away, she said she heard two gunshots. She called police.

When officers arrived on the scene, they noticed Cardenas, Jr. pointing a gun at vehicles. He ignored commands to drop the gun. Police say a sergeant fired at him after he began walking toward several open businesses and vehicles.

Officers have shot twice as many suspects this year over last year. The previous high was 33 set in 2013.

A week ago, after the New York Times reported the department blamed the shootings on civilians, Chief Jeri Williams said, “Less lethal options and de-escalation practices, wherever possible, are always preferable.”

She said the article misrepresented “that we are blaming civilians. What we know, as fact, time and again during these encounters, violent individuals are victimizing members of our community and attacking officers with guns, knives, and other weapons,” she said.

William told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Bruce St. James and Pamela Hughes, “We’ve made some adjustments in our training to include some of the very scenarios that our officers are facing, that they’ve been in.

“We’ve increased our crisis intervention team training. We’ve been working with our community to increase active shooter training.”

The street was expected to remain closed at least through the beginning of the morning rush hour. Traffic was restricted on Camelback Road from 35th Avenue to 37th Avenue, affecting routs to Alhambra High School.

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Phoenix police shoot, kill armed man aiming at traffic