Phoenix police officer fighting for life after shooting; suspect in custody

Dec 14, 2021, 3:20 PM | Updated: 3:32 pm
Tyler Moldovan, left, and Essa Williams (Phoenix Police Department, Maricopa County Sheriff's Offic...
Tyler Moldovan, left, and Essa Williams (Phoenix Police Department, Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photos)
(Phoenix Police Department, Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photos)

PHOENIX – A Phoenix police officer was fighting for his life after being shot during a confrontation with a suspect early Tuesday.

The Phoenix Police Department said Officer Tyler Moldovan was shot multiple times near 15th Avenue and Camelback Road just after 2 a.m.

Moldovan and other officers were called to the area about vehicles driving erratically and located a car that matched the description of one of them at a nearby apartment complex.

Officers didn’t find anyone in the car, but located a suspect, 24-year-old Essa Williams, hiding behind a short wall of an apartment patio.

Moldovan began giving commands to Williams, who pulled out a gun and shot the officer multiple times, police said.

Other nearby officers heard the shots and were able to take Williams into custody without incident.

Officers did not fire their weapons, police said.

Moldovan, 22, was taken to a hospital in critical condition.

“It’s just the exact example of how dangerous this job is and the men and women never know what’s going to happen,” Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show on Tuesday.

Williams was booked into Maricopa County Jail on charges of attempted first degree murder, possession of a weapon by a prohibited person and resisting arrest.

Moldovan graduated from the academy in March and had recently moved to solo officer status.

“There is no routine call,” Jeri Williams said. “There are inherent dangers to this profession and it takes a special personality to take that oath of office.”

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Phoenix police officer fighting for life after shooting; suspect in custody