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Phoenix police shoot 2 teenage suspects during nighttime incident

(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Police Department)

PHOENIX – Police in Phoenix said they shot two teenage vehicle theft suspects, who were hospitalized with serious injuries, on Sunday night.

The shooting near Metrocenter Mall happened around 9 p.m. Police said in an email the suspects allegedly tried to run over two officers who were approaching them on foot, prompting the officers to fire at the vehicle.

The boys, ages 16 and 15, were suspected of forcing a man out of his car at gunpoint at apartments close to Interstate 17 and Dunlap Avenue and then driving off in his car.

A two-man patrol unit found the vehicle stopped in traffic on 29th Avenue near North Metro Parkway, with the suspects inside. The officers standing in front of the vehicle ordered them not to move, Sgt. Maggie Cox said in the email.

The 15-year-old driver appeared to be following the command but then hit the accelerator, police said. Both officers fired at the vehicle, but the suspects managed to head south on 29th Avenue, police said.

Police pursued the vehicle until it stopped at 29th and Northern avenues. The passenger got out, but the driver initially stayed behind the wheel and did not comply with commands, police said.

After an officer handling a K-9 unit deployed pepper balls through the car’s window, the driver left the vehicle and was taken into custody, police said.

The 16-year-old suspect was released from the hospital Monday afternoon and was booked into a juvenile correction center for his involvement in the armed robbery, according to police. The 15-year-old remains in the hospital in critical condition but has stabilized.

No officers were injured.

It was the 13th shooting of the year involving Phoenix police, according to KTAR News research.

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