Officer shot in ‘ambush’ in south Phoenix, suspect arrested for attempted murder

Mar 25, 2023, 12:14 PM | Updated: Mar 27, 2023, 7:51 am

Joseph Lopez (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo)...

Joseph Lopez (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo)

(Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo)

PHOENIX — An officer suffered non-life-threatening injuries after being shot Friday morning by a suspect.

Phoenix Police said the officer suffered the gunshot wound in “a violent and unprovoked attack” near Seventh Avenue and Roeser Road, between Baseline Road and Southern Avenue, before 10 a.m.

One person was in custody at about 5 p.m. on Friday, according to police.

On Saturday, police identified the suspect as Joseph Lopez. He was booked for attempted murder and other felony charges.

“This was an ambush on our officer,” Phoenix Police Chief Michael Sullivan said during a press conference. “This is a reality our officers face every day when they put on this uniform.”

The officer, who has less than a year of experience, was the first to arrive to the scene where a vehicle crashed into the front yard of a residence, Phoenix Police Sgt. Brian Bower said during the press conference.

When the officer moved toward the vehicle, the suspect pulled out a rifle and fired several shots, Bower said.

The officer was struck in the left hip once while seated in the patrol vehicle and was also hit in the face with bullet fragments.

The officer performed a tactical maneuver with her vehicle and get away from the area and was taken to a hospital in stable condition.

She was released from the hospital on Saturday.

“When an officer is not expecting to be confronted with a situation like that, that is the definition of an ambush,” Bower said in a later press conference.

Detectives and officers swept the neighborhood and identified the suspect inside a nearby residence.

Detectives with the Special Assignment Unit used less lethal munitions, and the suspect exited the residence, climbing down from the roof to be taken into custody. He sustained a minor injury and was transported to a hospital, Bower said.

No other members of the community were injured in the incident, although another officer received minor injuries from a dog bite during the search.

The scene was still active Friday afternoon, and the public was asked to avoid the area. Schools in the neighborhood were placed on lockdown, and traffic restrictions were implemented.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Getty Images Photos)...

Arizona’s Sinema says she was happy to play liaison role on debt ceiling negotiations

U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona said Thursday her role in helping push forward negotiations on lifting the nation's debt ceiling was to be a liaison, a position she was happy to fill.

15 hours ago

(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...

Taylor Kinnerup and Kate Ourada

Arizona’s News Roundup: Canal killer death sentence, Phoenix PD rolls out crime reduction plan

Arizona's News Roundup this week covered the canal killer's death sentence and Phoenix Police's new crime reduction plan.

15 hours ago

(Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)...

MCSO’s Penzone expects scanner program at jails to be implemented within weeks

Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone said a scanner program that will detect for drugs and other contraband going in and out of jails will be up and running within weeks.

15 hours ago

(Facebook Photo/Axis for Autism)...

SuElen Rivera

Autism evaluation, therapy clinic opens first East Valley location

A clinic offering autism diagnostic services and ABA therapy is expanding its presence in the Valley with the opening of a new clinic in Gilbert.

15 hours ago

Wreckage after BNSF freight train carrying new vehicles derailed overnight in Coconino County, Ariz...

Freight train carrying new vehicles derails in northern Arizona

Nobody was injured when a freight train carrying new vehicles derailed in northern Arizona overnight, officials said Thursday.

15 hours ago

Photos of a stolen husky puppy and suspects Logan Niemann and Taylor Sines. The Glendale, Arizona, ...

Kevin Stone

Glendale couple arrested for allegedly stealing husky puppy last month

A Glendale couple was arrested Wednesday for allegedly stealing a husky puppy from a breeder last month, authorities said.

15 hours ago

Sponsored Articles



Here are the biggest tips to keep your AC bill low this summer

PHOENIX — In Arizona during the summer, having a working air conditioning unit is not just a pleasure, but a necessity. No one wants to walk from their sweltering car just to continue to be hot in their home. As the triple digits hit around the Valley and are here to stay, your AC bill […]

(Photo by Michael Matthey/picture alliance via Getty Images)...

Cox Communications

Valley Boys & Girls Club uses esports to help kids make healthy choices

KTAR’s Community Spotlight focuses on the Boys & Girls Club of the Valley and the work to incorporate esports into children's lives.


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Company looking for oldest air conditioner and wants to reward homeowner with new one

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

Officer shot in ‘ambush’ in south Phoenix, suspect arrested for attempted murder