Phoenix police shoot bank robbery suspect after he fires at helicopter tracking him

Apr 21, 2023, 8:08 AM | Updated: Apr 24, 2023, 6:14 am

Charles Rock (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo)...

Charles Rock (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo)

(Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo)

PHOENIX — Police in Phoenix shot and wounded a bank robbery suspect who fired a rifle at officers in a helicopter during a chase Thursday.

The suspect, 37-year-old Charles Rock, was released from the hospital on Saturday and booked into Maricopa County Jail.

The Phoenix Police Department said Rock was shot near Interstate 17 and Cactus Road around 3:50 p.m. after he fired off several rounds at officers.

Police said officers responded to a 3:14 p.m. call about an armed robbery at a bank near Seventh Street and Thunderbird Road. The caller said a man was inside the bank with a rifle and an explosive device.

The suspect drove away in a dark-colored car but was followed by a witness, police said.

A police helicopter caught up to the suspect, who was driving south on I-17. He exited the freeway, drove west onto Cactus Road and pulled into a nearby strip mall at 28th Drive.

Rock got out of the car and shot at the helicopter, police said.

An officer in an unmarked vehicle saw the suspect fire at the helicopter. The officer fired from inside the department vehicle and struck the suspect, who was standing next to the driver’s side door.

The suspect got back into his vehicle and drove south on 28th Drive and pulled into a parking lot, where police took him into custody and tended to his injuries until emergency medical personnel arrived.

He was taken to the hospital with serious injuries, police said.

Members of the police bomb squad and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives found an improvised explosive device in the car, police said.

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Phoenix police shoot bank robbery suspect after he fires at helicopter tracking him