Phoenix PD investigate fatal officer-involved shootings
PHOENIX (AP/KSAZ) -- Not one, but two shootings involving law enforcement are under investigation in Phoenix.
Phoenix police responded around 2:00 a.m. to a report about a shooting near Bell Road and 35th Avenue. When officers arrived at the scene, they encountered a male suspect, who was on the roadway. Investigators say the suspect refused to drop a handgun and fired shots at the officers. The officers returned fire, hitting the suspect.
The suspect, identified by authorities as 20-year-old Bryce Schenkenberg, was pronounced dead.
When officers entered a nearby home, a man and a woman were found with gunshot wounds. They were transported to a hospital and treated for non-life threatening injuries. We're told that they are going to be okay.
Police say the victims and suspect knew each other, but a motive has not yet been determined.
According to Phoenix Police Sgt. Vince Lewis, no officers were injured at the scene. Meanwhile, neighbors are shocked.
"My garage door is always open. It's a very quiet, nice neighborhood, so it's a big shocker," said neighbor Katherine Davis.
Just a few years ago, Schenkenberg was an involved high school student, a delegate in the Arizona Youth Leadership Conference, and a member of positive community groups. On Monday morning, police say Schenkenberg tried to murder two of his friends, and two police officers.
According to police, Schenkenberg got into a fight with his friends at the house Sunday night. He allegedly came back at 2:00 a.m., armed with an AR-15 rifle, a pistol and a shotgun. Schenkenberg allegedly fired shots out of a window, hurting his two friends and waking up neighbors, who called 911.
Several miles south, Sgt. Tommy Thompson says an incident began late Sunday night after Department of Public Safety troopers and Phoenix police officers monitoring the area for street racing activity saw a Jeep Grand Cherokee traveling erratically in a parking lot near 43rd Avenue and Camelback Road.
An officer attempted to conduct a traffic stop near 39th Avenue and Moreland, just south of Interstate 10, but the suspect fled.
"A female Phoenix Police Officer pulled her undercover police vehicle behind the suspect's Jeep as he was getting out of the vehicle. The officer exited her vehicle and gave commands to the suspect at gunpoint, identifying herself as a police officer," explained Thompson. "The suspect got back into the Jeep and backed up, ramming the officer's vehicle. He drove a short distance, then fled on foot in the mobile home park."
During the pursuit, police say the suspect was seen carrying a handgun. He was given commands to drop the gun, but continued to run, hop over fences and enter a mobile home park.
"Two officers approached the suspect, giving him commands. The suspect raised and pointed the weapon towards the officers and one of the officers fired at the suspect, striking him," added Thompson.
Officers attempted life saving measures until fire department crews arrived, but the 25-year-old suspect, identified as Fabian Ortiz, was pronounced dead at the scene. Thompson says no officers were injured.