ARIZONA NEWS

Phoenix police officer hospitalized, suspect dead after shooting in Peoria

Jan 5, 2024, 10:45 AM | Updated: 3:41 pm

PHOENIX — A Phoenix police officer was shot in the lower leg and a suspect was killed during a Friday morning shooting in Peoria, authorities said.

The shooting took place near 87th Avenue and Bell Road a little after 10 a.m. The block of 87th Avenue south of Bell Road was closed while the scene was under investigation.

The suspect, a wanted fugitive identified as 30-year-old Junior Reyes, did not survive his injuries, according to Phoenix Police Chief Michael Sullivan.

Sullivan said Reyes wasn’t legally allowed to use weapons and had a history of violence towards police officers.

Reyes had a warrant out for two counts of aggravated assault towards police officers, according to a release.

“We are committed to the safety of our community by continuing our efforts to curb gun violence by focusing on prohibited possessors and our most violent offenders,” Sullivan said during a Friday afternoon press conference.

He added that the officer has been released at this time. Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego told reporters she visited the officer’s family, who say he’s recovering at home.

“I’ve also had the chance to speak with several of the officers with whom he served who said he is one of our best,” Gallego said. “It’s hard to have days like this when one of our officers was working to apprehend a violent criminal.”

A lot attendant at Liberty Buick, which is near where the incident occurred, heard shots and said a bullet hit the dealership building.

“Luckily, no one was hit because people come look at these cars on our patio … and people come out here and chill and talk,” Joshua Soto said.

Soto said he and his coworkers weren’t sure what to think at first.

“We didn’t really see what went down, but we heard it, and then after that we thought it was fireworks,” Soto said.

They realized it was gunfire when a coworker used binoculars to see what was happening, he said.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Colton Krolak contributed to this report.

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Phoenix police officer hospitalized, suspect dead after shooting in Peoria