Police identify subject of manhunt after shooting of Phoenix officer

Apr 15, 2022, 6:00 PM | Updated: Apr 17, 2022, 9:24 am
Nicholas Cowan booking photo (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) Nicholas Cowan (File Photo via Phoenix Police Department) Caroline Coster (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) Michael Hankins (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) Nicole Montalbano (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo) Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams holds a press conference outside a hospital after one of her officers was shot on April 14, 2022. (KTAR News Photo/Jeremy Schnell) (Photo via Phoenix Police Department) (Photo via Phoenix Police Department) (Photo via Phoenix Police Department)

PHOENIX – The car connected to the shooting of a Phoenix police officer Thursday has been located but the suspect remains on the loose and a Blue Alert was issued, authorities said.

The suspect was identified as Nicholas Cody Cowan, a 35-year-old white male who is 6 feet tall and weighs 215 pounds, according to the Phoenix Police Department. He was wearing a black hat, white T-shirt, black shorts and has tattoos on his neck, and he is possibly bleeding.

He was last seen near Third Avenue and Greenway Road, about 5 miles from where the shooting occurred outside a gas station.

“I am confident we will find this man,” Chief Jeri Williams said during a press briefing.

Anybody who sees the suspect was asked to call 911. Police said not to approach the man.

The FBI, which is assisting in the search, is offering a $35,000 award. Silent Witness has also approved a $5,000 reward and ATF will kick in another $5,000 for information leading to the arrest of Cowan.

The Blue Alert was activated around 4 p.m., triggering alarms on cellphones across the Valley. The Blue Alert is a rarely used system that DPS can use when a suspect who assaulted a law enforcement officer is on the loose.

The wounded officer was taken to HonorHealth Deer Valley Medical Center with critical injuries. Phoenix police said the officer was in stable condition after having surgery to remove the bullet.

Williams said the officer is a mother and a 24-year veteran whose husband is also on the force.

She was among the officers who responded to a gas station at Cave Creek and Beardsley roads on a domestic violence call. The caller said she left her home and went to the gas station because she was afraid of a potential confrontation.

The woman told police that Cowan had committed several criminal acts, attempted suicide and made threats to shoot it out with police if they were called.

“While she was speaking to the officers, the suspect drove into the parking lot and fired multiple rounds at our officers at a busy gas station, striking one of them,” Williams said.

“One officer returned fire as the suspect drove away.”

Police notified the public about the incident at 11 a.m. They initially were looking for a light blue 2012 Toyota Prius, but the car was located without the suspect.

Williams said eight of her officers have been shot and 13 injured during four incidents over the last four months.

“I’m angry, and I’m tired, and I’m frustrated,” she said.

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Police identify subject of manhunt after shooting of Phoenix officer