1 shot, killed after pulling gun on Phoenix police officer

Mar 28, 2019, 6:23 AM | Updated: Apr 2, 2019, 1:39 pm
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PHOENIX – Police in Phoenix said an officer fatally shot a suspect who pulled out a gun during a confrontation early Thursday morning.

The suspect, identified later as 43-year-old Eugene Horn, was pronounced dead at a hospital, Sgt. Vince Lewis told KTAR News 92.3 FM.

Lewis said police had been in the area of 47th Avenue and Indian School Road around 1 a.m. searching for suspects of a store burglary.

During that search, officers saw a pickup truck without its headlights on speeding in the neighborhood. The person behind the wheel was also driving erratically.

Police tried to stop the truck but the driver kept going. Officers eventually found the truck abandoned.

Witnesses told authorities as many as four people got out of the truck and ran away in different directions.

While searching the area, an officer saw a man walking. When the officer tried to make contact with the man, he pulled out a handgun and pointed it at the officer.

The officer stepped out of the patrol car and fired at the man. The officer was later identified as sergeant-in-training Ryan Merrill, a 41-year-old with 14 years of service.

A second suspect was located in the area and taken into custody. Calvin Mejia, 24, was booked on one count of felony murder, because a death occurred during the commission of a crime, and a burglary charge, Lewis said.

Investigators were trying to determine whether the men in the truck were involved in the burglary.

It was the fifth Phoenix officer-involved shooting and 13th police-involved shooting in the Valley so far in 2019.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Amy Phol contributed to this report.

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1 shot, killed after pulling gun on Phoenix police officer