A Phoenix police officer shot and killed a man Wednesday evening after he attempted to drive his car toward officers who were trying to arrest him, a police official said.
The shooting occurred about 6 p.m. Wednesday at a shopping center near Dysart and McDowell roads in Avondale, police said.
The incident began when a motorcycle officer attempted to pull over a driver who was speeding in the area of 17th Avenue and Bethany Home Road in Phoenix, said Phoenix police Sgt. Mercedes Fortune.
The driver refused to stop, and the motorcycle officer followed the car until a Phoenix police helicopter took over tracking its movement, Fortune said.
At that point, unmarked police vehicles from the department’s Special Assignment Unit followed the car on the ground with the helicopter’s guidance, Fortune said.
Those officers found the car in a parking lot of a shopping center and used their vehicles to box in the suspect’s car, which was parked near several stores, Fortune said.
Officers attempted to remove the driver from the car, but the man refused and began ramming into the police vehicles, until he was able to get around them and drive onto the sidewalk in front of several businesses, Fortune said.
The driver then accelerated in the direction of one of the officers, Fortune said, at which point the officer shot the driver, who later was pronounced dead.
“He used his vehicle as a weapon at that point; there’s customers, there’s children (in the area),” Fortune said, adding that the man was not armed with a gun or any other weapon. One of the stores near where the shooting took place is called “Once Upon A Child.”
Fortune said a female passenger also was in the car, but she was not injured.
Fortune said only one officer fired his weapon.
The identity of the man who was shot and the officer involved were not immediately released.
Fortune added that the vehicle involved appeared to be a rental car that had not been returned.
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