Three Officers Hit By Bullets In Tucson: 1 Serious | MassCops

Three Officers Hit By Bullets In Tucson: 1 Serious

Discussion in 'Line of Duty Death News' started by Inspector, Jun 1, 2008.

  1. Inspector

    Inspector Subscribing Member

    TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Officials say a gunman went on a shooting spree Sunday morning, shooting a Tucson police officer in the head and injuring two Pima County sheriff's deputies.
    Sheriff's Department Bureau Chief Rick Kastigar says the incident began just before 10 a.m. when a man armed with an assault rifle and wearing camouflage reportedly shot at two homes.
    Kastigar says a sheriff's deputy spotted the suspect in a red Mustang convertible and began chasing him. Kastigar says the suspect shot the deputy in the right shoulder.
    Other officers caught up with the Mustang and the chase resumed. Kastigar says when the driver made an abrupt left turn, he fired at a Tucson officer and hit him in the head.
    A helicopter took the officer to a hospital in very serious condition.
    Kastigar says the gunman got on a highway and shot another deputy, resulting in a non-life-threatening wound to the head.
    Kastigar says 25-year-old David Nickolas Delich has been taken into custody in connection with the shootings.
    Information from: Arizona Daily Star
     
  2. Inspector

    Inspector Subscribing Member

    A camouflage-clad man driving a red Mustang convertible opened fire on law enforcement officers with an assault rifle at five locations throughout Tucson Sunday, critically injuring one and wounding two others before giving up on Mount Lemmon Highway.
    A Tucson police officer is in University Medical Center in critical condition and a pair of Pima County Sheriff’s deputies are there with non-life threatening injuries. The shooting spree began at just before 10 a.m. Sunday in North Tucson in the 8400 block of North Placita de la Manzana when the suspect, David Nicholas Delich, 25, fired at two houses with an assault rifle, said Rick Kastigar, Pima County Sheriff's Bureau Chief. He didn't hit anybody.
    A Sheriff's deputy found the suspect driving west of Oracle Road on Ina Road and began chasing him. At Ina and Oracle, the shooter fired at the deputy, hitting him in the right shoulder. The deputy continued the chase south on Oracle but lost track of the man, Kastigar said.
    Deputies working on the east side picked him up near Swan and River. A chase continued with several officers trailing the red mustang, Kastigar said. As they drove east on Tanque Verde, the suspect fired shots back at the officers on Tanque Verde Road bridge. The shots didn’t hit anybody. Further ahead, west of Houghton Road on Tanque Verde, officers laid down stop sticks.
    Before he hit them, Delich made an abrupt left turn heading north on to a side street called Tomahawk Trail, Kastigar said. There, he fired at a Tucson police officer immediately behind him, striking him more than once, including in the head, Kastigar. The officer was flown by helicopter to University Medical Center with life-threatening injuries.
    Delich was able to lose the officers after shooting the officer, Kastigar said. They found him again driving up Catalina Highway on the way to Mount Lemmon. At milepost 1.5, he shot at a Sheriff's deputy, causing a minor wound to the side of his head, Kastigar said.
    The man continued north and gave up at Molina Basin at about 11 a.m., more than an hour after the incident began. He was arrested and taken into custody. A background check shows that Delich has been arrested on criminal trespassing, a marijuana violation and possession of drug paraphernalia. He has not spent any time in Arizona prisons.
    Nobody else was injured during the chase, Kastigar said. Catalina Highway and other areas where shootings occurred were closed Sunday, causing significant traffic delays. Investigators don't know why the man went on the shooting spree, Kastigar said.

    [​IMG]Rescue workers tend to a Tucson police officer wounded during a shooting spree Sunday morning that stretched across the city. The officer was reportedly in critical condition early Sunday.
     
  3. Hb13

    Hb13 MassCops Member

    Godspeed to full recovery for the injured officers.
     
  4. Inspector

    Inspector Subscribing Member

    TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Tucson police say a 43-year-old officer who was shot in the head during a shooting spree Sunday is on life support and unlikely to live.
    Tucson Police Chief Richard Miranda says 25-year-old David Nicholas Delich (Deh-LICK) shot and wounded two sheriff's deputies less seriously before he surrendered to deputies part-way up Mount Lemmon after a cross-city chase.
    On the far northeast side, Delich shot Tucson officer Erik Hite in the head, and later injured a second deputy sheriff before heading up the mountain.
    Miranda says doctors have said it's unlikely the officer will survive. He is married and has a daughter who turns 1 next week, as well as a son in the armed forces now stationed in San Antonio.


     
  5. kwflatbed

    kwflatbed MassCops Angel Staff Member

    Arizona Officer Clings to Life Following Shooting

    BRADY McCOMBS and ALEXIS HUICOCHEA
    The Arizona Daily Star, Tucson


    A Tucson police officer was on life support and "very unlikely to live" after he was shot in the head Sunday during an hour-long, cross-town shooting spree, Tucson Police Chief Richard Miranda said.
    Before officers brought the incident to an end on the road to Mount Lemmon, a man driving a red Ford Mustang convertible, dressed in camouflage and brandishing an assault rifle, had opened fire on law-enforcement officers at six locations spanning 20 miles, from Tucson's far Northwest Side to the far Northeast Side.
    Tucson police Officer Erik Hite, 43, was critically injured in one of those shootouts and was on life support Sunday at University Medical Center, Miranda said. Hite is a four-year veteran of the department and a 21-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force, Miranda said. He is the father of a baby girl who is not yet 1 year old as well as a grown son who serves in the military, Miranda said.
    If Hite does not survive, he will be the first local law-enforcement officer killed in the line of duty since 2003, when Tucson police Officer Patrick Hardesty was shot to death while chasing a hit-and-run suspect.
    Two Pima County Sheriff's deputies -- whose names were not released -- also were shot Sunday and were taken to UMC with serious but non-life-threatening injuries, Miranda said. One of the two deputies continued chasing the suspect even after being shot in the shoulder, Miranda said.
    According to authorities, the shooting spree began shortly before 10 a.m. Sunday when a man law enforcement identified as David Nickolas Delich, 25, fired into houses in the 8400 block of North Placita de la Manzana, near North Shannon and West Cortaro Farms roads. It ended more than an hour later and nearly 20 miles to the east, when officers stopped the suspect on Catalina Highway and arrested him.
    This is how the events unfolded, according to Miranda and Rick Kastigar, Pima County Sheriff's bureau chief:
    The 911 calls about a camo-clad man shooting into houses started coming into the Pima County Sheriff's Department at 9:49 a.m.
    As deputies arrived, the suspect fled in a 1988 red Ford Mustang. Nobody was injured in the initial shootings.
    A sheriff's deputy spotted the suspect a few miles away, at North Oracle Road and West Magee Road, and began chasing him. Near Oracle and West Ina Road, the suspect fired, hitting the deputy in the right shoulder.
    Despite being hit, the deputy continued the chase south on Oracle but lost track of the suspect near Oracle and West River Road. Deputies working on the East Side picked him up again near East River and North Swan roads. A chase continued with several officers trailing the red Mustang, including Tucson police officers who got involved after seeing the suspect near Udall Park.
    As they drove east on East Tanque Verde Road, the suspect fired at officers three times: at Tanque Verde bridge and East Wrightstown Road; at Tanque Verde and North Castle Rock Drive; and Tanque Verde and North Jeanette Avenue.
    No one was hit.
    Farther ahead, west of North Houghton Road on Tanque Verde, officers laid down stop sticks, Kastigar said. Before he hit them, Delich made an abrupt left turn, heading north on to a side street called North Tomahawk Trail, Kastigar said.
    At 10:27 a.m., as Tucson police officers approached, Delich shot Officer Hite, hitting him once in the head, Miranda said. The shooter's move at this spot was calculated, Miranda said.
    "From what preliminary information I have, I'm going to say it bluntly that Officer Hite was ambushed," Miranda said. "There was some thought behind what the shooter did."
    Hite was flown by helicopter to University Medical Center.
    Delich was able to flee again after shooting Hite and headed north up Catalina Highway, Kastigar said. They found him again driving up Catalina Highway on the way to Mount Lemmon. At milepost 1.5, he shot at a deputy, grazing him in the head.
    At about 11 a.m., more than an hour after the incident began, Delich pulled off the road near the Molino Basin campground and gave up. He was arrested and taken into custody.
    Investigators don't know why Delich went on the shooting spree, but Miranda said preliminary information indicates the houses he fired at and the officers he shot were not targeted, but rather random targets.
    They found several weapons and large amounts of ammunition in the Mustang, he said. They characterized the weapon he used as an assault rifle but declined to name the exact type. They haven't estimated yet how many rounds he fired.
    Some of his shots came from inside the Mustang, and others were fired from outside the car, Miranda said. The three law-enforcement officers who were struck were in their vehicles at the time, he said.
    Pima County Sheriff's records show the department has had contact with Delich in the past, Miranda said, but Tucson police have not. Former classmates said he attended Sabino High School, and Miranda said he still has a Pima County address.
    A background check shows that Delich has been arrested on criminal trespassing, a marijuana violation and possession of drug paraphernalia. He has not spent any time in Arizona prisons.
    Pima County Sheriff's deputies, the lead investigators, were serving search warrants on Delich's vehicle Sunday and gathering evidence from the multiple crime scenes.
    "This investigation is going to take a while, and we are going to have to piece together information to really get behind what the motivation was," Miranda said.
    They don't know yet what Delich will be charged with, Miranda said. It's also unknown if officers returned fire on Delich during the pursuit.
    Police don't have any reports of residents or motorists who were injured during the hour-long chase, Miranda said. They did receive phone calls about shots being fired as the pursuit passed by.
    "I assume that people who live in the area were hearing the gunfire and as we all know, bullets can go anywhere," Miranda said. "So, even by accident, there could be some homes and businesses that might have received some damage."
    The shooting spree and chase was a harrowing experience for people on Catalina Highway and at the shooting locations.
    Jody and Don Mackey were biking up Catalina Highway near Molino Basin when somebody in a car told them to get out of there, and that somebody was shooting at people with a rifle, they said. Then, they saw 20-25 officers speed up the highway.
    "You knew something horrible was happening," said Jody Mackey of Tucson.
    They sped back down the mountain on their bikes.
    "It was scary, it was horrifying," Jody Mackey said.
    Gab and Nolan Illanas heard the gunshots from their house in the Tanque Verde Woods subdivision, just east of where Hite was shot. The children saw police officers speed off after the Mustang after the shots were fired.
    Nolan, 10, went outside to see what was going on and saw a police officer in his car at the entrance to the neighborhood. "We were, like, really scared," Nolan said.
    Their mother, Sheree Illanas, said the children were unharmed but shaken.
    "It's always quiet here," said Judy Harris, who lives in the same neighborhood. "So that was pretty scary."
    It was a difficult day emotionally for law enforcement as well.
    "As police chief, my ultimate responsibility is protection of my police officers," Miranda said at a news conference Sunday. "When something like this happens, I
    have a definite and sincere feeling of responsibility because these officers go out every single day and put their lives on the line. ... I feel absolutely terrible."

    The chase
    1. At 9:49 a.m., a man dressed in camouflage fires shots into houses in the 8400 block of North La Placita de la Manzana. No one is injured. The suspected shooter, David N. Delich, flees in a 1988 red Ford Mustang convertible.

    2. After spotting him at Oracle and Magee, a Pima County Sheriff's deputy begins chasing Delich. Near Ina and Oracle, the shooter fires at the deputy with an assault rifle, hitting him in the right shoulder. The deputy continues the pursuit but loses sight near Oracle and River roads.

    3. Deputies working on the East Side spot the suspect near Swan and River. The chase continues with several officers trailing the red Mustang, including Tucson police officers who got involved after seeing the suspect near Udall Park.

    4. As they follow the suspect east on Tanque Verde, he fires shots back at the officers on Tanque Verde Road bridge and Wrightstown Road. The shots don't hit anybody.

    5. The shooter fires shots at officers at Tanque Verde and Castle Rock that don't hit anybody.

    6. The suspect fires another round at officers at Tanque Verde and Jeanette. Nobody is hit.

    7. Officials regroup and lay out strategies. West of Houghton Road on Tanque Verde, officers lay down stop sticks. Before the vehicle hits them, the driver makes an abrupt left turn heading north onto a side street called Tomahawk Trail. At 10:27 a.m., as Tucson police officers approach, the suspect shoots Officer Erik Hite, hitting him once in the head. Hite is flown to University Medical Center.

    8. Deputies find the suspected shooter again on Catalina Highway on the way to Mount Lemmon. At Milepost 1.5, he shoots a deputy, grazing him in the head and causing non-life-threatening wounds.

    9. At 11 a.m. -- more than an hour after it began -- the suspected shooter pulls off the road near the Molino Basin campground and gives up. He is arrested without incident and taken into custody.
    who is officer erik hite?

    Tucson police Officer Erik Hite, 43, was hired in February 2004 and had been assigned to Tucson's East Side since graduating from the academy. He "has served our community in exemplary fashion," Tucson Police Chief Richard Miranda said.
    In 2006, he made more than 700 traffic stops and made several arrests on narcotics, stolen property and other crimes, Miranda said.
    Before his career with Tucson police, Hite served 21 years in the U.S. Air Force, and was stationed at Davis-Monthan in Tucson from 1983 until he retired as a master sergeant.
    He has a wife, Nohemy, and two children: daughter Samantha, not yet a year old, and son Roy David, who is serving in the military in San Antonio, Texas. His age and branch of service were not available Sunday.
    Hite's parents, Patsy and Roy, were on their way to Tucson Sunday from Portland, Ore., Miranda said.
    "It is with a heavy heart that we are here today because you have an officer who has dedicated himself to this community who has made the ultimate sacrifice," Miranda said during a Sunday afternoon news conference, with Tucson Mayor Bob Walkup by his side.
    "We as a community and we as a police department and me as a police chief and the mayor of Tucson are sincerely gratified by his service and dedication," Miranda said.
    Walkup spent time with Hite's wife at University Medical Center Sunday.
    "I expressed concerns of the community and told her she is in the best hands we can provide if there is anything we can do," Walkup said. "Our prayers are with her."
    Officers hurt in 2 earlier '08 incidents
    The shootings of a Tucson police officer and two Pima County sheriff's deputies was the third time that local law enforcement officers were wounded in the line of duty this year.
    --On May 11, Officer Yoel "David" Friedman of the Tucson Police Department was shot in the leg and fellow Officer Edward Boyen was stabbed under the right arm during a domestic-violence dispute, police said. Both officers are recovering from their wounds.
    Travis O'Neal Hylton, 17, is facing three counts of attempted first-degree murder, nine counts of aggravated assault and one count of endangerment stemming from the incident. Police said Hylton had broken into a house where his sister was caring for his 14-month-old child. Hylton did not have legal custody of the child and was not allowed to be in the home.
    --On Feb. 29, Deputies Matthew D. Salmon and Bruce E. Haufe of the Pima County Sheriff's Department were shot during a foot chase that ensued after they went to a home in Avra Valley to check on a woman who reported her boyfriend had threatened her with a gun. Neither deputy was critically injured, although Salmon was shot in the chest. He was protected by a bulletproof vest.
    Vincent Samuel Azzarello, 25, was shot and killed during the incident. The Pima County Attorney's Office determined the shooting was justified.

    Story From:http://www.azstarnet.com.
     
  6. PapaBear

    PapaBear MassCops Member

    A Shootout in Tucson

    Officer on life support after crosstown pursuit

    4-year TPD veteran sustained head wound and is not expected to survive, Miranda says Two deputies also shot, but injuries considered to be non-life-threatening

    By Brady McCombs and Alexis Huicochea
    Arizona Daily Star
    Tucson, Arizona | Published: 06.02.2008


    A Tucson police officer was on life support and "very unlikely to live" after he was shot in the head Sunday during an hour-long, cross-town shooting spree, Tucson Police Chief Richard Miranda said.


    Before officers brought the incident to an end on the road to Mount Lemmon, a man driving a red Ford Mustang convertible, dressed in camouflage and brandishing an assault rifle, had opened fire on law-enforcement officers at six locations spanning 20 miles, from Tucson's far Northwest Side to the far Northeast Side.

    Tucson police Officer Erik Hite, 43, was critically injured in one of those shootouts and was on life support Sunday at University Medical Center, Miranda said. Hite is a four-year veteran of the department and a 21-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force, Miranda said. He is the father of a baby girl who is not yet 1 year old as well as a grown son who serves in the military, Miranda said.

    If Hite does not survive, he will be the first local law-enforcement officer killed in the line of duty since August 10, 2005, when Pima County Sheriff's Deputy Timothy D. Graham was killed after he and another man fell into traffic on Ajo Way as they tried to subdue another man. The last Tucson Police Department officer to die in the line of duty was Officer Patrick Hardesty, who was shot to death while chasing a hit-and-run suspect.

    Two Pima County Sheriff's deputies — whose names were not released — also were shotSunday and were taken to UMC with serious but non-life-threatening injuries,Miranda said. One of the two deputies continued chasing the suspect even after being shot in the shoulder, Miranda said.

    According to authorities, the shooting spree began shortly before 10 a.m. Sunday when a man law enforcement identified as David Nickolas Delich, 25, fired into houses in the 8400 block of North Placita de la Manzana, near North Shannon and West Cortaro Farms roads. It ended more than an hour later and nearly 20 miles to the east, when officers stopped the suspect on Catalina Highway and arrested him.

    This is how the events unfolded, according to Miranda and Rick Kastigar, Pima County Sheriff's bureau chief:

    The 911 calls about a camo-clad man shooting into houses started coming into the Pima County Sheriff's Department at 9:49 a.m.

    As deputies arrived, the suspect fled in a 1988 red Ford Mustang. Nobody was injured in the initial shootings.

    A sheriff's deputy spotted the suspect a few miles away, at North Oracle Road and West Magee Road, and began chasing him. Near Oracle and West Ina Road, the suspect fired, hitting the deputy in the right shoulder.

    Despite being hit, the deputy continued the chase south on Oracle but lost track of the suspect near Oracle and West River Road. Deputies working on the East Side picked him up again near East River and North Swan roads. A chase continued with several officers trailing the red Mustang, including Tucson police officers who got involved after seeing the suspect near Udall Park.

    As they drove east on East Tanque Verde Road, the suspect fired at officers three times: at Tanque Verde bridge and East Wrightstown Road; at Tanque Verde andNorth Castle Rock Drive; and Tanque Verde and NorthJeanette Avenue.

    No one was hit.

    Farther ahead, west of North Houghton Road on Tanque Verde, officers laid down stop sticks, Kastigar said. Before he hit them, Delich made an abrupt left turn, heading north on to a side street called North Tomahawk Trail, Kastigar said.

    At 10:27 a.m., as Tucson police officers approached, Delich shot Officer Hite, hitting him once in the head, Miranda said. The shooter's move at this spot was calculated, Miranda said.

    "From what preliminary information I have, I'm going to say it bluntly that Officer Hite was ambushed," Miranda said. "There was some thought behind what the shooter did."

    Hite was flown by helicopter to University Medical Center.

    Delich was able to flee again after shooting Hite and headed north up Catalina Highway, Kastigar said. They found him again driving up Catalina Highway on the way to Mount Lemmon. At milepost 1.5, he shot at a deputy, grazing him in the head.

    At about 11 a.m., more than an hour after the incident began, Delich pulled off the road near the Molino Basin campground and gave up. He was arrested and taken into custody.

    Investigators don't know why Delich went on the shooting spree, but Miranda said preliminary information indicates the houses he fired at and the officers he shot were not targeted, but rather random targets.

    They found several weapons and large amounts of ammunition in the Mustang, he said. They characterized the weapon he used as an assault rifle but declined to name the exact type. They haven't estimated yet how many rounds he fired.

    Some of his shots came from inside the Mustang, and others were fired from outside the car, Miranda said. The three law-enforcement officers who were struck were in their vehicles at the time, he said.

    Pima County Sheriff's records show the department has had contact with Delich in the past, Miranda said, but Tucson police have not. Former classmates said he attended Sabino High School, and Miranda said he still has a Pima County address.

    A background check shows that Delich has been arrested on criminal trespassing, a marijuana violation and possession of drug paraphernalia. He has not spent any time in Arizona prisons.

    Pima County Sheriff's deputies, the lead investigators, were serving search warrants on Delich's vehicle Sunday and gathering evidence from the multiple crime scenes.

    "This investigation is going to take a while, and we are going to have to piece together information to really get behind what the motivation was," Miranda said.

    They don't know yet what Delich will be charged with, Miranda said. It's also unknown if officers returned fire on Delich during the pursuit.

    Police don't have any reports of residents or motorists who were injured during the hour-long chase, Miranda said. They did receive phone calls about shots being fired as the pursuit passed by.

    "I assume that people who live in the area were hearing the gunfire and as we all know, bullets can go anywhere," Miranda said. "So, even by accident, there could be some homes and businesses that might have received some damage."

    The shooting spree and chase was a harrowing experience for people on Catalina Highway and at the shooting locations.

    Jody and Don Mackey were biking up Catalina Highway near Molino Basin when somebody in a car told them to get out of there, and that somebody was shooting at people with a rifle, they said. Then, they saw 20-25 officers speed up the highway.

    "You knew something horrible was happening," said Jody Mackey of Tucson.

    They sped back down the mountain on their bikes.

    "It was scary, it was horrifying," Jody Mackey said.
    Gab and Nolan Illanas heard the gunshots from their house in the Tanque Verde Woods subdivision, just east of where Hite was shot. The children saw police officers speed off after the Mustang after the shots were fired.

    Nolan, 10, went outside to see what was going on and saw a police officer in his car at the entrance to the neighborhood. "We were, like, really scared," Nolan said.

    Their mother, Sheree Illanas, said the children were unharmed but shaken.
    "It's always quiet here," said Judy Harris, who lives in the same neighborhood. "So that was pretty scary."

    It was a difficult day emotionally for law enforcement as well.

    "As police chief, my ultimate responsibility is protection of my police officers," Miranda said at a news conference Sunday. "When something like this happens, I have a definite and sincere feeling of responsibility because these officers go out every single day and put their lives on the line. … I feel absolutely terrible."

    The chase

    1. At 9:49 a.m., a man dressed in camouflage fires shots into houses in the 8400 block of North La Placita de la Manzana. No one is injured. The suspected shooter, David N. Delich, flees in a 1988 red Ford Mustang convertible.

    2. After spotting him at Oracle and Magee, a Pima County Sheriff's deputy begins chasing Delich. Near Ina and Oracle, the shooter fires at the deputy with an assault rifle, hitting him in the right shoulder. The deputy continues the pursuit but loses sight near Oracle and River roads.

    3. Deputies working on the East Side spot the suspect near Swan and River. The chase continues with several officers trailing the red Mustang, including Tucson police officers who got involved after seeing the suspect near Udall Park.

    4. As they follow the suspect east on Tanque Verde, he fires shots back at the officers on Tanque Verde Road bridge and Wrightstown Road. The shots don't hit anybody.

    5. The shooter fires shots at officers at Tanque Verde and Castle Rock that don't hit anybody.

    6. The suspect fires another round at officers at Tanque Verde and Jeanette. Nobody is hit.

    7. Officials regroup and lay out strategies. West of Houghton Road on Tanque Verde, officers lay down stop sticks. Before the vehicle hits them, the driver makes an abrupt left turn heading north onto a side street called Tomahawk Trail. At 10:27 a.m., as Tucson police officers approach, the suspect shoots Officer Erik Hite, hitting him once in the head. Hite is flown to University Medical Center.

    8. Deputies find the suspected shooter again on Catalina Highway on the way to Mount Lemmon. At Milepost 1.5, he shoots a deputy, grazing him in the head and causing non-life-threatening wounds.

    9. At 11 a.m. — more than an hour after it began — the suspected shooter pulls off the road near the Molino Basin campground and gives up. He is arrested without incident and taken into custody.

    Contact reporter Brady McCombs at 573-4213 or [email protected].

    http://www.azstarnet.com/metro/241816
     
  7. kwflatbed

    kwflatbed MassCops Angel Staff Member

    Ariz. officer on life support after pursuit shooting



    Chief: Officer made 'ultimate sacrifice'
    A.J. FLICK
    Tucson Citizen (Ariz.)

    A Tucson police officer is on life support and not expected to live after a man allegedly shot him once in the head. Police Chief Richard Miranda said police Officer Erik Hite, 43, was "ambushed" Sunday after a cross-city pursuit.
    David Nickolas "Nick" Delich, 26, was arrested on the way up Mount Lemmon at Molino Basin after police and deputies chased him sporadically from the Northwest Side. Delich was expected to have his initial appearance before a judge Monday morning. Charges will be revealed at the hearing.
    "It's with a heavy heart we're here today after an officer gave the ultimate sacrifice," Miranda said Sunday at a new conference. "I'm definitely feeling responsible," Miranda said. "Officers go out every single day and put their lives on the line and I'm in charge. "For me, there's a sense of responsibility, a sense of sadness," he said. "I feel absolutely terrible."
    Mayor Bob Walkup expressed his condolences to Hite's wife, two children and parents. "I'm proud of the Tucson Police Department and the Sheriff's Department for getting a really bad person off the street," Walkup said.
    Hite, a four-year veteran of the department, joined after serving in the U.S. Air Force for 21 years. He is a member of Shadowriders.org, an online motorcycle enthusiast group. His wife, Nohemy Hite, and daughter Samantha, who will be 1 year old Saturday, were with Hite at a hospital, Miranda said. Hite's son, Roy David Hite, is serving in the military in San Antonio, Texas. His parents, Patsy and Roy Hite, are on their way to Tucson, Miranda said.
    The chase left two deputies wounded as well.
    The incident began 9:49 a.m. when a man, later identified as Delich, fired at two homes with an assault rifle in the 8400 block of North Placita de la Manzana, sheriff's Bureau Chief Rick Kastigar said. There were no injuries.
    After residents called 911, a deputy encountered Delich's car at North Oracle Road and West Ina Road, Kastigar said. Delich shot that deputy in the arm, but the injured deputy chased Delich south toward River Road, where the deputy lost contact, Kastigar said.
    At 11 a.m., four sheriff's cars - one with what appeared to be a gunshot through the windshield - and one Tucson police car were at a fast-food outlet at River and Oracle, said a Tucson Citizen photographer at the scene.
    Other deputies caught sight of Delich's car near North Swan Road and East River, Kastigar said. The chase continued to East Tanque Verde Road, where Delich allegedly shot at police and deputies on the Tanque Verde Bridge, with no injuries reported.
    Officers set up "stop sticks", or road spikes, intended to disable Delich's car on Tanque Verde Road, but he turned left on a side street near Tomahawk Trail.
    "Officer Hite was ambushed (on Tomahawk Trail)," Miranda said. "There was thought behind what the suspect did." Hite was in his patrol car. Miranda wouldn't elaborate, citing the ongoing investigation.
    Hite, who was shot about 10:27 a.m., was taken by helicopter to a hospital.
    Delich evaded law enforcement officers until he got a short way up the Mount Lemmon Highway, Kastigar said.
    Delich allegedly shot a sheriff's deputy on the Mount Lemmon Highway near milepost 1.5. The officer's head was grazed, Kastigar said. The chase continued for a couple of miles up the highway until Delich surrendered at Molino Basin, Kastigar said.
    Law enforcement officials declined to say what Delich, a Sabino High School graduate, was charged with. Miranda wouldn't comment on the type of weapon involved, but said officers found weapons in Delich's car.
    Police Capt. Clayton Kidd said it's not known how many officers were involved in the incident or if any of them returned fire. Molina said Delich shot both from his car and from outside of it, but wouldn't elaborate.
    Al Bleecker, who lives near the site where Hite was shot, said residents were shaken by the shooting. "It's a terrible, terrible shock for somebody to do something so crazy," Bleecker said.
    Suzanne Tatgenhorst was riding her bicycle along Tanque Verde Road near North Houghton Road around the time of the the Hite shooting. "I stopped my bike and a police officer said, 'Keep going! Keep going!'" Tatgenhorst said.
    "At the light, a female officer threw me behind a metal box and said, 'Get down! Stay down! He's just driving and shooting!' "
    Tatgenhorst said she didn't hear gunfire, but her parents, who were riding their bicycles nearby, did.

    [​IMG]Wire Service
     
  8. Inspector

    Inspector Subscribing Member

    Reports say officer Hite has died as a result of the injuries sustained in the ambush in Tucson. Rest In Peace brother.

    A Tucson police officer died Monday, a day after being shot in the head during a crosstown chase and shooting spree.

    Officer Erik Hite, 43, died at 12:53 p.m. at University Medical Center, police spokesman Sgt. Mark Robinson said.

    Robinson said Hite had been on a ventilator initially but was breathing on his own when he died.

    He was surrounded by his family, including his wife, Nohemy, a son in the military who had arrived from San Antonio, and his parents, who had flown in from Portland, Ore.

    Hite and his wife also have a daughter who will be a year old next week.

    Two Pima County sheriff's deputies suffered lesser injuries on Sunday.

    David Nickolas Delich, 25, surrendered to law officers on Sunday on Mount Lemmon after a chase covering about 20 miles and a series of shootings.

    Earlier Monday, before Hite died, a magistrate ordered Delich held on $2.5 million bond in the Pima County Jail on suspicion of attempted first-degree murder, aggravated assault and discharging a firearm at a structure.

    Hite, 43, joined the police force four years ago after 21 years in the Air Force.
     

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