ARIZONA NEWS

Phoenix police video provides details about fatal November shootout

Jan 24, 2020, 3:35 PM

PHOENIX – The Phoenix Police Department on Wednesday released a video detailing a standoff and shootout that left an armed suspect dead and two officers injured last year.

The “critical incident briefing” video provides information about the Nov. 3, 2019, shooting at a home near 28th Street and Roeser Road, south of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

The video includes audio clips from 911 callers and radio transmissions from officers at the scene, including a negotiator who spent several hours trying to communicate with the suspect.

Officers from the Special Assignment Unit who took over the case weren’t equipped with body cameras, so there is no footage from the actual shooting.

There is body camera footage from other officers in which shots can be heard from inside the home.

The video recreates the incident through narration from Sgt. Mercedes Fortune, photos, audio clips and a 3D image of the house. The timeline also was laid out in a press release.

The standoff ended when police shot and killed Michael David Austin, 32, around 5 a.m.

Police entered the house after they heard shots and Austin refused to say whether the people inside were OK or let them speak or leave.

Austin had been holed up inside with his mother, brother and sister for hours. He fired shots when officers first showed up around midnight, and he refused to follow commands or negotiate, according to the video.

Four people were treated for injuries at a hospital after the incident, two officers and two hostages, according to the video.

Austin’s mother and sister and an officer standing outside the living room window were hurt by bullet fragments.

Another officer was bitten by a K9 unit before police entered the house.

Investigators determined that Austin used two guns to fire more than 25 rounds during the incident, according to the video.

Earlier that night, around 8:30 p.m. on Nov. 2, police had responded to the same home after getting a call saying Austin hit his mother and had “a big gun.” They left after being told by somebody inside that nothing was wrong.

The Phoenix Police Department began producing critical incident briefing videos for shootings last year as part of a pledge to increase transparency and accountability.

The department was involved in a record 44 shootings in 2018, but the total dropped to 15 in 2019.

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Phoenix police video provides details about fatal November shootout