Avondale, Arizona – Police in Avondale, Arizona, have released body camera footage and new information regarding a deadly shooting that occurred during a confrontation with a shoplifting suspect earlier this year. Despite the passage of almost three months, the identity of the deceased person remains unknown.
The incident took place around 12:30 p.m. on February 21 at a Family Dollar store in Avondale. The suspect had reportedly shoplifted from the store twice that day, according to employees.
Responding officers located an individual matching the suspect’s description near the Agua Fria River bottom. After activating his body camera, the officer approached the suspect, instructing him to keep his hands visible. The officer noticed what appeared to be a “sharp tool” in the suspect’s waistband and attempted to handcuff him. A struggle ensued, temporarily obscuring the body camera footage. The officer ended up on the ground with the suspect standing over him, allegedly attempting to choke him and reach for the officer’s holstered weapon.
Despite pressing the emergency button on his radio, the officer was alone at the scene. He managed to get back on his feet, separate from the suspect, and draw his gun. The officer fired multiple shots as the suspect turned to flee. Paramedics pronounced the suspect dead at the scene and recovered three knives. The officer sustained injuries to his neck and left hand and was transported to the hospital.
The shooting investigation was conducted by the Peoria Police Department, an external agency. The findings have been forwarded to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office for review.
Authorities are seeking the public’s assistance in identifying the deceased suspect. A sketch has been released, and the FBI is partnering with the Peoria police to gather leads. The individual is described as a Black male, approximately 5’6″ tall, weighing around 135 lbs. He had black hair in twists, brown eyes, a pierced left ear, and spaces between his upper front teeth. The suspect was dressed in three pairs of pants (purple, black, and gray), two homemade necklaces, two beaded bracelets, two pairs of socks, and Crocs.