Phoenix Cop Fatally Shoots Domestic-Violence Suspect -- and His Dog -- For No Apparent Reason
Yesterday, we told you about an officer-involved shooting in Phoenix. Details were limited, so we said to check back later. We got the details and they're pretty nuts.
According to court documents obtained by New Times, Phoenix Police Officer Richard Chrisman has been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after fatally shooting 29-year-old Daniel Rodriquez.
Rodriquez's mother called police about noon yesterday to report that she and her son had gotten into an argument and that Rodriquez was breaking things in her trailer home near Baseline Road and Central Avenue.
Officer Chrisman and another officer found Rodriquez's mother at the trailer next to the one where Rodriquez had thrown a fit.
The two officers went next door and tried to talk with Rodriquez, but he didn't answer.
The mother told the officers that the trailer was hers and that they were allowed to enter.
The officers entered the trailer and found Rodriquez standing in the living room.
Rodriquez told the cops they had no right to be in his trailer, and that's when things got wild.
Officer Chrisman pulled out his gun, held it to Rodriquez's head, and said "I don't need no warrant, motherfucker."
The other officer told detectives later that Rodriquez hadn't threatened the officers, and he saw no reason for Chrisman to pull his gun.
After putting away the gun, Chrisman went "hands on" and tried to detain Rodriquez. The other officer tried to help, but the two were unable to detain him.
Officer Chrisman then pulled out his Taser and deployed it toward Rodriquez. After getting zapped, Rodriguez hit the floor.
When he got up, Officer Chrisman was waiting with pepper spray, which he sprayed in Chrisman's eyes from about a foot away.
Chrisman then pulled his gun again and shot a dog that had been barking in the corner. The other officer told detectives later that the dog had been barking but hadn't attacked or bitten anyone in the trailer.
Rodriquez, having been shocked and blinded by pepper spray, argued with Chrisman about why he shot his dog.
The other officer tried to "talk down" the situation, and Rodriquez said he would leave the trailer on his bicycle, which was in the living room.
Officer Chrisman, apparently, wasn't havin' it.
As Rodriquez tried to leave, he and Chrisman got into a scuffle.
Officer Chrisman pulled out his gun and fired two or three shots at Rodriquez from about three feet away.
The other officer told detectives that as Chrisman drew his weapon, both he and Rodriquez took a step back. In other words, there was no real threat.
The other officer told detectives that, at no point, did he feel there was a threat that would have warranted the use of deadly force. At no point did Rodriquez ever have a weapon.
When asked his reaction to Chrisman putting the gun to Rodriquez's head, the officer said it was "the worst day of [his] life."
Chrisman was arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. We called the Phoenix Police Department to find out why he wasn't charged with murder. They say they will answer that question at a media briefing at 3 p.m. today.
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