Suspect pointed gun at residents before being shot by Phoenix officers, police say

A suspect who allegedly pointed a gun at apartment complex residents in Phoenix before being shot by police died three days later.

The shooting, according to the Phoenix Police Department, happened at about 5:20 p.m. on June 27 in the area of 52nd Street and Thomas Road. Officers responded to a domestic violence call at the scene and found the armed suspect standing on the second floor. 

"Officers gave the man several commands to drop the gun as he was pointing it in the direction of other residents on the ground floor," Sgt. Philip Krynsky said in a statement. "This is when the officer involved shooting occurred." 

After the shooting, police say the suspect went into a second-floor apartment. Officers then made their way to the second floor and told the suspect to come outside. When the suspect obliged, officers moved in and noticed that he had been shot.

A woman and two children who were inside the apartment were safely removed.

The suspect, Rakim Durham, was taken to a hospital where he died three days later, police said. No officers were injured.

More information revealed about 2 weeks later

In a July 11 news release, the Phoenix Police Department released more information about what led up to the shooting as well as what followed.

The following description is taken directly from the news release.

"The caller told the 911 dispatcher her neighbors in the same apartment complex were fighting again and she was concerned because the woman was much smaller than the man. The caller also told the dispatcher the man, later identified as Rakim Durham, is known to carry a gun and wears body armor.

The caller tells the 911 operator the woman has told her not to check up on her because it makes the situation worse. As the officers are arriving in the area the caller tells the operator the couple has quieted down. This information is relayed to the responding officers. Learning that no one saw a physical fight and things are now quiet, a sergeant cancels the call and tells the responding officers to go back on patrol.

Around 5:12 p.m. a second 911 call was received from the same caller asking why the police had not arrived. The 911 operator asked the caller if she can direct the officers to where the fight was occurring. The caller told the operator she could. Officers were then dispatched back out to the location.

An officer and a sergeant arrived and entered the courtyard of the apartment complex. They saw Durham outside on the 2nd floor landing and a group of people, including young children, on the ground floor, directly underneath the suspect. One of the people in the group tells the sergeant and the officer that Durham has been pointing a gun at them. The officers saw a gun in Durham's hand and ordered him several times to drop the gun. That is when the officer-involved shooting occurred. During the shooting, Durham was seen going into an apartment.

After shooting, the officers moved up to the second level of the apartment building and began giving Durham commands to show his hands. Durham showed his hands but remained in the apartment’s doorway. The sergeant told Durham he wanted to get him help but he needed to crawl away from the door."

Once they made entry, they noticed Durham became unresponsive.

The two officers who shot at Durham have been with the department for 3.5 years and 15.5 years.

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