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Shootout Kills 2 Ariz. Officers, Wounds 1

PHOENIX (AP) -- Two Phoenix police officers were killed and a third wounded Saturday night during a shootout at an apartment complex, authorities said.

The man believed to have shot the officers was found dead following a two-hour stand off with police.

The identities of the victims weren't immediately available.

Police were called to the apartment complex Saturday afternoon and found one person shot in the courtyard, said Police Commander Kim Humphrey. The person's condition and identity were unclear.

Authorities evacuated the area and a man began shooting when officers neared a doorway, Humphrey said. Two officers were killed and a third was struck and was undergoing surgery at a Phoenix hospital late Saturday.

Other officers fired back and the man retreated into an apartment, Humphrey said.

A stand off ensued, ending when a tactical team used tear gas and entered the home.

Inside, officers found the suspect dead from a gunshot wound, Humphrey said. It's unclear whether he was killed by police or whether he shot himself.

Retired Fed, Active Special
8,899 Posts
Too much of this lately huh? Let's all be careful.

I would be interested in knowing wether the perp had a handgun or rifle. YIKES!

127 Posts
From Phoenix Police Dept. Website.

On Saturday, August 28th, 2004 at 5:54 PM, Officers responded to emergency radio traffic of a shooting at the Northern Pointe Apartments, located at 1905 W. Las Palmaritas which is just north of Northern Avenue.

Upon their arrival the officers found a 25 y/o male suffering from a serious gunshot wound to his neck. Witnesses at the scene advised the suspect was thought to be in an upstairs apartment. Officers were unsure as to other potential victims and began evacuation.

After evacuating surrounding apartments, Officers attempted to contact the suspect inside apartment #267.

Officers unable to get a response kicked in the apartment door. Immediately, Officer's Jason Wolfe and Eric White sustained fatal gunshot wounds and Officer Chris Parese sustained a gunshot wound to his left hip area.

At that time, while attempting to remove the fallen officers the officers were again met with gunfire from the suspect. Officer Ben Balzer and Lieutenant Dave Harvey who had just arrived engaged the suspect in return fire forcing him to retreat into the rear of his apartment. These officers, along with others arriving at the scene assisted in extricating the injured officers and secured the apartment to prevent the suspect's escape.

The Phoenix Police Special Assignments unit responded and at 8:20 Pm entered the apartment and found the suspect obviously deceased from a gunshot wound to his head. We will await the finding of the medical examiner to determine if this was self inflicted or from officer's rounds.

Fire Department Personnel had responded immediately and began assisting our officers with attempts to resuscitate Officer Wolfe and Officer White but were unsuccessful.

Officer Parese was treated at John C. Lincoln Hospital on Dunlap and was released.

While responding to the original call of the shooting, Officer Cedric Tillman was involved in a traffic accident at 1900 W. Northern when a vehicle suddenly made a u-turn in the officers traffic lane.

Officer Tillman was treated at Good Samaritan Hospital for injuries to his arm and released. The driver of this vehicle was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital and was admitted in critical condition but has since been upgraded to serious condition.

The suspect was later identified as Douglas Matthew Tater a Caucasian male, date of birth May 20th, 1975 (29y/o). He has no criminal history that we know of at this time.

Officer Jason Wolfe was 27 years old, he had 4 ½ years on the department. He was married to Tara another officer with the department and they have a 3 ½ year old child.

Officer Eric White was 30 years old, he had about 4 years on the department. He was also married and leaves behind a 3 and 5 year old.

I think the Boston Globe has ties to the Arizona Republic Newspaper.

The day after the officers were killed, Arizona Republic Newpaper ran an artical questioning the officer's actions. The newspaper also stated in the article that the two officers had been written up for violating policy a few years ago. [/I][/I]

9 Posts
I had several people ask why they didn't wait for "SWAT". I told them that some days SWAT isn't the answer for everything and you have to do what is best. I've been a cop for 11 years and have done some time on a tac team, most of the stuff I got into didn't have a manageable time happened and you took care of it.
These men did the right thing and are heros in every since of the word. May God bless them and keep their families close during this trying time.
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