1 dead, 8 hospitalized in Phoenix after federal agents, suspects exchange fire

Apr 11, 2019, 10:49 AM | Updated: Nov 3, 2022, 2:21 pm

PHOENIX — One person was dead and eight hospitalized, including four federal agents, after gunfire erupted while agents attempted to execute an arrest warrant related to human smuggling in Phoenix on Thursday morning.

According to Phoenix Police Sgt. Tommy Thompson, Homeland Security Investigation agents attempted to stop a vehicle near 48th Street and Elliot Road around 10 a.m.

He said gunfire was exchanged and four agents were taken to the hospital for medical evaluation. The agents have since been released and are recovering.

One woman in the suspect vehicle was pronounced dead at the scene, while the other three in the vehicle were taken to the hospital with injuries that were not life threatening, Thompson said.

On April 15, Phoenix police identified the deceased woman as 29-year-old Theresa Medina-Thomas.

Yasmeen Pitts O’Keefe, a spokeswoman with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said on April 17 that Warren Jose, 35, and Valentina Valenzuela, 23, were charged in relation to a human smuggling conspiracy.

The Phoenix Police Department Violent Crimes Bureau is investigating the shooting but was not involved in the human smuggling investigation.

O’Keefe said in a statement to KTAR News 92.3 FM that the department’s Office of Professional Responsibility is reviewing the incident and declined to comment further.

News cameras showed a number of police cars and emergency vehicles surrounding a pickup truck that crashed into a brick wall.

An SUV and a pickup truck also appeared to have crashed into each other.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Nailea Leon and Madison Spence contributed to this report.

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1 dead, 8 hospitalized in Phoenix after federal agents, suspects exchange fire