Phoenix police said an officer fatally shot a person near 15th and Southern avenues while attempting to serve a warrant in the area.

Sgt. Armando Carbajal said officers were in the south Phoenix neighborhood when they saw the person they were seeking. When the person saw police, they fled, Carbajal said.

The person entered multiple backyards while running from police, Carbajal said, adding that the officer pursued the person into a yard and saw them trying to break into a home. 

The officer approached the person and deployed his Taser, which had no visible effect, Carbajal said. 

Carbajal said the person began to draw a weapon and that’s when the officer drew his service weapon and fired.

The person was pronounced dead at the scene by the Phoenix Fire Department, Carbajal said. Carbajal did not provide information on what type of weapon the person was holding.

Carbajal did not report any injuries to officers nor did he identify anyone involved in the shooting or whether the officer was wearing a body camera. There was at least one felony warrant for the fatally wounded person, Carbajal said.

This is the 67th time law enforcement has shot someone in Maricopa County that The Arizona Republic has reported on in 2018.

Saturday’s shooting is the 35th involving a Phoenix Police Department officer.

The number of shootings has spiked past the department’s previous high for a calendar year of 31 set in 2013.

There were 21 Phoenix Police Department shootings in 2017, 25 in 2016 and 17 in 2015, department data shows.

Fourteen of this year’s shootings were fatal and 32 involved armed people — 25 with handguns, two with replica guns, one with an officer’s firearm and four with a knife or sword.

The surge, which comes with less than five months left in the year, has alarmed Phoenix residents and police.

“Obviously, anytime law enforcement puts their uniforms on to go out and serve their community, it’s always dangerous and it can always end in a situation like this,” Carbajal said, addressing concerns about police safety.

In July, the Phoenix City Council approved a $149,000 study to investigate why the number of shootings has increased so swiftly.

Residents questioned whether the study would resolve what they see as excessive police force or serve as a cover for Phoenix police to continue shooting people at an unprecedented rate.

Viridiana Hernandez, executive director of Phoenix’s Poder in Action, said the study wouldn’t heal police-community relations.

“I come here and I hear that the talking points that are being reiterated are … that it blames us for being killed,” she said. “There’s never going to be moving forward. I don’t care how much people want to say it, how much you want to pretend that we’re trying to build trust. Trust will never be built until the abuser admits that they are doing the abusing.”

Republic reporter Jason Pohl contributed to this article.


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