A witness talks about an incident in which a Tempe police officer and a suspect were rushed to hospitals after a shooting in Tempe on May 16, 2017.

A man is dead after police say an officer shot him to stop a knife attack on another officer investigating a crash Tuesday morning in Tempe.

The officer who was stabbed at least once during the attack was said to have non-life- threatening injuries.

Several neighbors in the residential area said they heard the crash sometime after 6 a.m. and went outside to see a coupe had T-boned a vehicle parked on the side of the road in the 500 block of East Wesleyan Drive.

“I was one of the people who went out and tried to offer him help, and told me basically to ‘go “f” yourself,’ ” resident Steve Cohn told reporters. “As he walked past me, he spit at me and spit on my shirt. … So I went back in and called police.”

Cohn said he saw the first officer arrive.

“At first, the guy seemed to be explaining the crash” to the officer. Cohn didn’t see who started the fight, but “when I looked back, there was a scuffle and they were fighting. It was almost like a boxing fight. … The officer was on his back.”

Cohn said he saw the man pull a knife and, not long after, he heard a shot.

“The officer on the bottom had separated himself from the guy. And I heard another shot, and the guy went down,” Cohn said. “He started to push himself up again, and there were two more shots after that. It’s debatable whether those last two shots were excessive, in my opinion.”


A man is dead after Tempe police say an officer shot him to stop a knife attack on another officer investigating a crash on May 16, 2017.

Both the officer and the man who was shot were taken to hospitals. Sgt. Josie Montenegro, a Tempe police spokeswoman, said the man was pronounced dead and the officer was in stable condition.


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