PHOENIX – The Phoenix Police Department said two suspects have been arrested after two officers were injured in an apparent ambush-style shooting early Sunday morning.
The driver of the car involved in possibly baiting officers into the ambush was identified as 18-year-old Javon Beasley. The man accused of shooting at police was identified as 28-year-old Devonte Thornton, FOX 10 Phoenix reported.
Officials said prior to the shooting, the officers attempted to make a traffic stop. However, the vehicle failed to yield and fled before officers lost sight of it, Law Officer reported on Sunday.
Not long after, the officers spotted the same vehicle and once again tried to make a stop, but the vehicle continued without yielding. When they reached the area of 27th and Maryland avenues, someone standing along the road started shooting at the officers, according to police.
A Phoenix police officer has been shot near 27th Ave & Maryland. Injuries believed to be non-life threatening. AVOID THE AREA between 27th Ave & I-17 from Glendale to Bethany Home. Scene still active. Suspect still outstanding. pic.twitter.com/djrGt9ZBFC
— Phoenix Police (@PhoenixPolice) March 13, 2022
The passenger officer suffered a gunshot wound to the wrist. He was taken to a nearby hospital and is expected to recover from his injuries.
The driving officer sustained minor injuries due to flying glass particles.
The suspect who was operating the vehicle—later identified as Beasley—bolted from the automobile and fled on foot from the scene, according to police.
Partner officers responding to the shooting found Beasley nearby and took him into custody.
“This is the 7th Phoenix officer shot and 12th injured in the line of duty in the past three months,” Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams said. “This kind of violence within our community and toward police officers cannot become the new normal.”
According to Williams, the shooter—identified Monday as Thornton—was hiding in the dark while “trying to pick our officers off.”
Law enforcement authorities have not immediately disclosed investigative details.
Andy Anderson spent 37 years with the Phoenix Police Department. He’s a retired assistant chief, and knows the challenges faced by the entire department, FOX 10 reported.
“This is unprecedented, and it’s tragic,” he told the news outlet. “I’m sure that it’s the negativity toward law enforcement recently that is affecting that.”
Anderson wants to see elected officials step up to the plate to support police.
“Our council and our mayor and our community needs to stand up and support law enforcement,” he said. “If people are willing to attack law enforcement, nobody’s safe.”
Last month, nine Phoenix police officers suffered gunshot wounds and shrapnel injuries while responding to a shooting that led to an hours-long barricade situation, which ended with the suspect being found dead inside the Phoenix home. And Saturday morning an officer was injured near 75th Avenue and Buckeye Road when a man attempted to steal a police SUV. The man was shot by the officer and later died.