UPDATED 4/7/2011 9:21 a.m. VICTIM’S NAME IS JOHN SOLMEN
This, according to Phoenix Police. He was 48-years-old. The two other people in the car are apparently still being detained for questioning.
by Brian A. Wilkins
4/7/2011 (links and photos updated January 5, 2020)
VIDEO OF THE SCENE
PHOENIX — Here is what we know for sure.
A chase began around 28th Street and Thomas Road as Phoenix Police were conducting an undercover drug sting. The suspect refused to stop, so police backed off, since they did not want a high-speed chase during rush hour. A helicopter followed the vehicle from above until two unmarked police cars resumed the pursuit a few miles down the road.
The driver of the car turned down a dead end street just south of 20th Street and Van Buren. Several police cars trapped him in. According to police, the suspect refused to surrender and “rammed” one of their cars. This prompted two Phoenix cops to fire at least 10 shots, according to a witness. The driver died at the scene. The victim was a 48-year-old white male. A woman and another man were in the car, but were uninjured.
The police made no mention of a gun or any other weapon, and no witness said anything about the victim shooting at police. This victim was obviously unarmed and the police will use the “car as a deadly weapon justification” for the killing. It was dark and rainy outside, but we did not see any damage to any of the police cars. A witness told reporter Tyler Baldwin of KTVK Channel 3 that police just got out of their cars and started shooting.
The two cops who fired the shots were of course given a paid vacation (aka “paid administrative leave”). We will update this story when we learn the identity of the victim and/or the names of the cops involved.