Caller said suspect was ‘very agitated’ before Phoenix officer was shot

Mar 27, 2023, 11:25 AM

Joseph Lopez (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo) Officer Morgan Bullis was released from the hospital on Saturday, March 25, 2023, one day after getting shot. (Phoenix Police Department Photo) (KTAR News Photo/Taylor Tasler)

PHOENIX — A caller said the man accused of wounding a Phoenix police officer last week was armed and appeared “very agitated” before the shooting, according to court records.

Joseph Lopez, 29, was being held on a $1 million bond after his arrest following a daylong manhunt Friday. He was booked into Maricopa County Jail on one count each of attempted first-degree murder, aggravated assault on an officer, discharging a firearm at a structure and prohibited weapons possession.

The wounded officer, 26-year-old Morgan Bullis, was released from the hospital on Saturday.

The probable cause statement, part of a form submitted to the courts by police when they book a suspect, provides details about what transpired before and after the shooting in a south Phoenix neighborhood.

It all started around 9:15 a.m. Friday, when police received a call about a black Chevy Camaro crashing into the front yard of a residence near 11th and Atlanta avenues, south of Broadway Road.

“The caller stated the suspect appeared to be very agitated and was armed with a rifle,” the probable cause statement said.

When Bullis arrived at the scene, the driver fired at her before she left her patrol vehicle, striking her in the hip. She was also hit in the lip with a fragment.

A witness told police the suspect then fled on foot.

While police searched the area, investigators were able to identify Lopez as the suspect.

Around 4:45 p.m., Lopez was arrested after he crawled out of a roof vent of a building at the intersection where the shooting occurred. A rifle was located in the attic near the vent.

Lopez allegedly told police he’d taken two Percocets and two Xanax pills and had been drinking. He said he “could not remember if he did or did not shoot the officer,” according to the probable cause statement.

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Caller said suspect was ‘very agitated’ before Phoenix officer was shot