9 Phoenix police officers injured in ambush; 2 people dead
PHOENIX – Five police officers were shot and four others were injured by shrapnel or bullet fragments while responding to a shooting call at a Phoenix home early Friday, authorities said.
All of the injured officers were expected to survive.
Shatifah Lobley, 29, was identified as the woman shot inside the home and later died at a hospital, police said on Saturday.
The threat ended when the suspect, 36-year-old Morris Jones, was found dead in the house located in a residential area near 51st Avenue and Broadway Road.
“I’d hate to speculate, but it sounds like I’d be pretty safe to say nine is going to be the highest number we’ve ever had injured in one day,” Sgt. Andy Williams, a Phoenix Police Department spokesman, said during a press briefing.
Police received a call around 2:15 a.m. that a woman had been shot at the home, which is nestled in a subdivision east of the Loop 202 and north of the Salt River bed.
Jones invited the first responding officer to come inside.
“As he approached the doorway, the suspect ambushed him with a gun and shot him several times,” Williams said. “That officer was able to get back and get away to safety.”
After backup units arrived, a second man — not Jones — came out the front door with a baby. That man put the baby down on the porch in a carrier before being detained, but police didn’t elaborate further about his role the incident.
Investigators believe the man who carried the baby out of the home is Lobley’s brother, according to a press release.
“Other officers also moved in to secure that infant. At that time the suspect opened fire on the officers again,” Williams said.
Four officers were hit directly by that gunfire, and four others were hurt by ricochet or shrapnel, he said.
One officer was released from the hospital Saturday and another officer was released on Sunday while two others remained, police said.
“Those officers were all able to get back to safety while two other officers returned fire at the suspect,” Williams said.
Jones was later found dead inside. Police didn’t say how much time had elapsed after the shootout or how he died.
Jones and Lobley are the parents of the baby, who was unharmed, police said.
Chief Jeri Williams told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show that officers in the U.S. have now been shot at or killed 39 times this year.
“It makes my heart ache because I know that there are folks out there who want to say bad things about law enforcement, and those are the people that are willing to give their lives for someone they don’t even know,” she said.
It was the ninth incident in which law enforcement officials fired shots in metro Phoenix this year, the fifth for Phoenix Police officers, per KTAR News research.