Shoplifting suspect killed by Avondale police identified as 17-year-old boy

Jun 6, 2023, 8:08 AM | Updated: 9:35 am

Artists sketch of the 17-year-old boy shot and killed by police in Avondale, Arizona, on Feb. 21, 2...

(Sketch, Photo via Avondale Police Department)

(Sketch, Photo via Avondale Police Department)

PHOENIX — A shoplifting suspect shot and killed by Avondale police more than three months ago has been identified as a 17-year-old boy, authorities said Monday.

The Peoria Police Department, which conducted the criminal investigation into the shooting, announced the identification but didn’t provide the teen’s name or any other new information about the case.

The shooting occurred Feb. 21 near Buckeye and Dysart roads after Avondale police responded to a shoplifting call at a Family Dollar store.

The responding officer located a person matching the description of the shoplifting suspect nearby at the Agua Fria River.

The officer observed a sharp object in the suspect’s waistband. It turned out to be one of three knives in the suspect’s possession, police said.

A physical altercation ensued, during which the suspect choked the officer, police said.

“The officer managed to return to his feet and reported the male again attempted to grab his throat,” Sgt. Manny Rios said in a press release May 19, when police released body-worn camera footage of the incident. “The officer then drew and discharged his duty weapon, fatally injuring the male.”

Also on May 19, Peoria police requested the public’s help identifying the person killed, releasing a forensic artist’s sketch of the suspect’s face and a detailed description of his appearance. He was described as being 5 feet, 6 inches tall and weighing around 135 pounds.

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Shoplifting suspect killed by Avondale police identified as 17-year-old boy