Phoenix police release video of officer fatally shooting man who stole patrol car

Mar 29, 2022, 12:00 PM | Updated: 4:46 pm
(Phoenix Police Screenshot)...
(Phoenix Police Screenshot)
(Phoenix Police Screenshot)

PHOENIX — The Phoenix Police Department has released video of an incident where an officer fatally shot a man who stole his patrol car following a call for help on a city bus earlier this month.

Video showed 39-year-old Adam Vespoli being hit by gunfire and the vehicle then crashing into a tree on the other side of the street near 75th Avenue and Buckeye Road on March 12.

An officer was sent to the location at about 7:30 a.m. after two sleeping men were asked to get off the bus but refused, according to police.

Vespoli exited the bus at the officer’s direction. He then got behind the wheel of the patrol unit, which was parked in front of the bus with the keys still inside.

The officer’s body worn camera stopped recording before Vespoli got in the car, but surveillance video from the bus showed the officer running toward the vehicle.

The officer put his foot on the running board of the patrol car and fired multiple shots into the vehicle as Vespoli attempted to drive away, the video shows.

Vespoli was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The officer who shot and killed Vespoli was a three-year veteran and assigned to the Maryvale Estrella Mountain Precinct.

It was the sixth shooting of the year by Phoenix Police and the 12th by law enforcement in the Valley, according to research from KTAR News 92.3 FM.

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Phoenix police release video of officer fatally shooting man who stole patrol car