Phoenix police provided additional details on Wednesday’s officer-involved shooting in Avondale, saying the officer was in fear for his life and the public’s safety.

38-year-old Erik Pamias was cornered by police officers in a black Nissan in a shopping center at 13050 W. Rancho Santa Fe Blvd., near McDowell and Dysart roads, after failing to stop when an officer attempted to pull him over for speeding in the area of Interstate 17 and Bethany Home Road, police said.

Once Pamias was boxed in, officers gave verbal commands to him, but he refused to exit the vehicle. Pamias continued to ignore commands and proceeded to ram police vehicles, with an unidentified woman passenger in the front-passenger seat.

A press release from the Phoenix Police Department said the officers “utilized less lethal means to gain compliance from the suspect” but did not provide details.

Officers saw small children and customers around stores in the area and again yelled commands at Pamias, who ignored commands again and accelerated backward at an officer, police said.

The officer fired his duty weapon, striking Pamias, police said. Pamias was removed from the vehicle and officers administered first aid until the Avondale Fire Department transported him to a local hospital, police said. He was pronounced dead a short time later, police said.

Police said the investigation has shown that Pamias was in unlawful possession of the vehicle from California. Specifics as to how he attained the vehicle were not made available.

Police said a front-seat passenger received minor injuries from the collision and was released by officers.

A total of 11 people have been shot by law-enforcement officers in Maricopa County in 2017. Of the 11, six were killed.


Police: Man shot as he drives toward officer

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