West Valley suspect in MCSO shooting died of self-inflicted gunshot wound

Jul 1, 2021, 5:00 PM | Updated: 10:01 pm
(MCSO Screenshot)...
(MCSO Screenshot)
(MCSO Screenshot)

PHOENIX — A suspect involved in a shooting with a deputy in the West Valley last week died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, authorities said Friday.

Michael Gerhart, 22, was pronounced dead at the scene near southbound U.S. 60/Grand Avenue and Loop 303 in Surprise at about 6:30 p.m. on June 23, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release.

An autopsy showed that Gerhart’s cause of death was from his own gunshot, MCSO said in the release.

Gerhart shot at the deputy, who was approaching his crashed vehicle in the median of southbound U.S. 60/Grand Avenue, according to MCSO.

The deputy fired three shots back at Gerhart, who shot once more at the deputy before retreating behind his patrol vehicle and calling for help, MCSO said.

“The deputy’s discipline, experience and incredible instincts are the reason he was able to go home safe to his family and continue to protect our community members,” MCSO Sheriff Paul Penzone said in the release.

“I am thankful our deputy is alive and uninjured during these challenging times for law enforcement and the continued threat and danger in the course of our duties.”

The deputy is on administrative leave pending the end of the investigation.

It was the third shooting of the year involving MCSO and 28th overall by Valley law enforcement, according to KTAR News 92.3 FM research.

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West Valley suspect in MCSO shooting died of self-inflicted gunshot wound