Officials say man who injured 9 Phoenix officers in standoff died by suicide
PHOENIX – The man responsible for injuring nine Phoenix officers after shooting the mother of his child last week was hit by police gunfire but ultimately took his own life, authorities said Monday.
“What I can tell you is while we did return fire and strike … Mr. [Morris] Jones, the medical examiner has ruled that he died by suicide,” Sgt. Ann Justus of the Phoenix Police Department told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show.
“So he died by a self-inflicted injury.”
Justus also said that only one of the five officers who required hospitalization is still in the hospital.
“The others have been released to begin their healing at home,” she said.
The four officers who were hurt by shrapnel are expected to return to work soon, Justus said, while the five officers with gunshot wounds are at varying levels of recovery.
“The first officer, who was shot multiple times, that’s the officer that remains in the hospital, and that one will likely be an extended recovery time,” she said.
Justus said the incident apparently started as a domestic dispute between Jones, 36, and Shatifah Lobley, 29, whom he fatally shot before his confrontation with police.
“It’s believed that Jones and his girlfriend, Lobley, were in some kind of domestic violence altercation,” Justus said.
“What we learned from the family is that they did have a history of domestic violence incidents. So it’s believed that’s what started this.”
Police received a call around 2 a.m. Friday that a woman had been shot at a home near 51st Avenue and Broadway Road.
Jones invited the first responding officer to come inside but shot at him while he approached, police said. Another officer on the scene fired back, prompting Jones to go back into the house, police said.
After more officers arrived and set up a perimeter, Jones drove a vehicle out of the garage and rammed a patrol car blocking his way before he went back inside.
Later, Lobley’s brother came out the front door carrying a baby girl. He put the baby down on the porch in a carrier and walked slowly to police.
When officers moved in to get the infant, Jones opened fire and police shot back. Four officers were hit directly by that gunfire, and four others were hurt by ricochet or shrapnel.
The Phoenix SWAT team arrived and used ballistic shields to rescue the 1-month-old girl while Jones shot at them, police said.
The incident ended after police used a camera to see that Jones wasn’t moving. They went inside and found Jones dead and Lobley with critical injuries. Lobley died after being taken to a hospital.
Jones and Lobley are the parents of the baby, who was unharmed, police said.
Justus said investigators didn’t finish their work at the scene until 6 p.m. Saturday.
“They’re going to be combing through the evidence they collected, digital records, talking to all kinds of people, trying to determine why this happened,” she said.
Federal court records showed Jones had a criminal history dating back to at least 2007, including convictions in Oklahoma for using a firearm during a drug trafficking crime and possessing a firearm after a felony conviction and in Arizona for conspiring to transport, for profit, people who were in the country illegally.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.