Bodycam video released of Chandler officers killing armed burglary suspect

Police have released graphic video showing a deadly encounter in Chandler between officers and an armed burglary suspect. 

According to Chandler Police, a man who was not home called 911 on Nov. 23 of last year after being alerted by his home surveillance camera that someone wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and mask was inside his home near Gilbert and Pecos Roads.

Police said they believed the suspect, who was reportedly armed with a hammer, was attempting a burglary.

Officials say when officers arrived, they heard a commotion inside the closed garage door. The garage door was later opened, and they confronted the suspect, who ran back inside the home.

The suspect, according to investigators, later left the home through the backyard, with a rifle. It is unclear if the rifle belonged to him, or if he took it from inside the home.

One of the officers went around the side of the home to the backyard where he ordered the suspect to surrender.

"As the suspect began positioning himself around the corner armed with the rifle, the detective looking into the backyard feared for the life of the officer in the backyard and fired on the suspect resulting in the first officer shooting," police said in a news release on Jan. 12.

Both officers then ordered the suspect to surrender, but he did not comply. While still armed, police say the suspect moved around the patio and turned toward one of the officers.

"The second officer perceived an imminent threat resulting in the second officer shooting striking the suspect," police said.

"Get on the ground now!" an officer could be heard saying in the body camera footage. "I will put [expletive] holes in you. Drop it!" 

Gunshots can be heard ringing out in the video.

The suspect, identified as 30-year-old Cody Smestad, was taken to a hospital where he later died. No other suspects were found inside the home.

No officers were hurt.

"Police were outdoor with their guns drawn. I looked out the door, and for sure we saw that, so of course – I have nine children, and I had to get them all to safety. I had to get my weapon out to protect my family, you know, but we heard the gunshots, and that was pretty much it, and I saw them bring the guy out on the street and do CPR for a good – almost like 20 minutes," said Leauna Jones, who lives in the area.

The incident was captured by the two officers' body cameras and the home camera system. The officers involved in the incident have been identified as a detective with the criminal investigations bureau who has 22 years of service, and a patrol sergeant with the Chandler Heights precinct who has 16 years of service.

"The shooting incident is the subject of both an internal and criminal investigation, which the Maricopa County Attorney's Office will review," police said.

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The Chandler Police Department says no officers were injured following a deadly shooting involving officers in the area of Gilbert and Frye Roads on Nov. 23, 2022.