September 19, 2007
Officer Down: Nick Erfle
Officer Down: Nick Erfle - [Phoenix, Arizona]
Cause of Death: Gunfire
Additional Information: Officer Erfle had served with the Phoenix Police Department for 8 years. He is survived by his wife and two children.
Incident Details: Officer Nick Erfle was shot after he and his partner approached three people for jaywalking and obstructing traffic.
They determined that a 24-year-old male had a misdemeanor warrant and as they attempted to take him into custody, the suspect drew a weapon and shot Officer Erfle in the face. He was rushed to Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center where he died from his injuries an hour later.
The suspect then carjacked a vehicle and took the driver hostage. About an hour later, an unmarked special assignments unit spotted a car and suspect matching the carjacked vehicle's description.
They began surveillance and managed to box in the vehicle at 27th Avenue and McDowell Road. The suspect pointed his gun at the hostage and he was shot and killed by an officer. The driver of the vehicle was not injured. The two females who were with the suspect when he was initially stopped were taken into custody for questioning.
End of Watch: Tuesday, September 19, 2007
Ariz. officer fatally shot trying to arrest criminal
By Teana Wagner, John Faherty and Nikki Renner
The Arizona Republic
PHOENIX — A Phoenix police officer was shot and killed this morning.
One hour later, the suspect was shot and killed by another officer.
The violent morning started at approximately 8:30 when two officers approached three people for jaywalking and obstructing traffic on 24th Street one block north of Thomas Road.
Police say the officers then did a record check on the three — a man and two women — and found that Anthony Sanchez, 24, had a misdemeanor warrant for his arrest for shoplifting in Tucson.
The Arizona Republic has learned that Sanchez has had many run ins with the law. Over the years he has faced a series of criminal charges, ranging from cockfighting to drug possession to theft.
When the officers tried to arrest Sanchez, he pulled out a handgun and fired several shots according to police reports.
One officer was fatally wounded. His partner was not hit and chased the suspect south on 24th Street but could not return fire because there was too much traffic.
Police say Sanchez then ran to a nearby parking lot at 24th Street and Thomas Road and carjacked a beige sedan at gunpoint.
The driver of that car remained behind the wheel while Sanchez sat in the passenger seat.
Witnesses were able to give police a description of the vehicle and a license plate.
One hour later an unmarked Special Assignments Unit officer spotted a car and suspect matching Sanchez's description.
They began surveillance of the car and managed to box it in at 27th Avenue and McDowell Road.
Police say the suspect then pointed his gun at the hostage. An officer then shot and killed Sanchez. The driver of the sedan was not injured.
By that time, the wounded officer had been rushed to Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center, but he could not be saved.
His fellow officers started arriving at the hospital to keep vigil.
This has been a particularly violent year for Valley police officers.
Officer Anthony Holly of the Glendale Police was shot and killed during a traffic stop in February. Phoenix Police Officer George Cortez Jr. was killed in July after responding to a call about a bad check.
Copyright 2007 The Arizona Republic