Wounded Phoenix officer ‘doing very well’; shooting suspects identified
PHOENIX – Police on Wednesday identified the two men arrested in the shooting of a Phoenix police officer, who was “doing very well” a day after the incident.
Ahmani Gordon and Aaron Ware, both 22 years old, were booked for attempted first-degree murder, the Phoenix Police Department said.
“They do have criminal histories,” Assistant Chief Michael Kurtenbach told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show on Wednesday.
“What our detectives were doing yesterday, and our detective who was shot, they were following up on gun crimes — crimes we believe that these individuals were responsible for in our community.”
The wounded officer, a 19-year-veteran of the force, was scheduled for surgery later Wednesday, Kurtenbach said.
“All things considered, she’s doing very well — physically,” Kurtenbach said. “And I always qualify that, physically, because there’s obviously a mental toll that comes with this.”
The incident occurred around 12:15 p.m. Tuesday when the officer was in an unmarked car near 43rd Avenue and Baseline Road. She was “physically by herself” at the time of the shooting, Kurtenbach said, but other units were nearby as part of a surveillance investigation.
The suspects’ vehicle arrived and slowed down next to the officer’s car before continuing down the road. The same vehicle returned a short time later and stopped behind the officer’s car. Two men exited the vehicle with guns drawn and masks over their faces, police said.
The officer saw the men and put on her ballistic vest before drawing her gun.
“Thank God that she was able to identify those behaviors to very quickly put on her external vest and to put herself in a position to – although she was shot multiple times – minimize the damage that they intended to inflict on her,” Kurtenbach said.
One of the men moved in front of the officer’s car and the other stood outside the passenger door as they began firing into the vehicle, police said.
The officer was struck multiple times as she exited the vehicle and was unable to fire back, police said. According to court documents, approximately 19 rounds were fired. The officers’ vest was hit and her gun was damaged in the barrage.
The two men returned to their vehicle and drove away while the officer called for help. She was rushed to Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix in stable condition.
Police found the suspects’ vehicle at a residence near 33rd Avenue and Baseline Road, where Gordon and Ware were taken into custody.
They had their initial court hearings on Wednesday morning and were being held on bond for $2 million each.