Phoenix Cop Pete Bennett Shot by Man Stopped for Not Having a Bicycle Light, Records Show
Although Phoenix's chief of police wouldn't go into detail about why Officer Pete Bennett approached the man who shot him several times on Sunday, court records state that 28-year-old Brandon McCabe was pulled over for riding a bicycle without a light.
According to the court documents obtained by New Times, Bennett -- driving his marked Phoenix PD Chevy Tahoe -- flipped on the lights and told McCabe to stop for not having a light on his bicycle, as required by state law.
At a press conference earlier this week, Police Chief Daniel Garcia didn't get too detailed about why Bennett approached McCabe, other than for "suspicious activity." The chief said the area is a "high-profile enforcement area," where robberies and assaults are more common.
Court records provide the supposed violation for stopping McCabe, leading up to the shooting, which was the light-less bicycle.
"McCabe stopped in the roadway and immediately began protesting that he had done nothing wrong," a Phoenix police detective writes in a probable-cause statement.
After ignoring Bennett's instructions, then pedaling away, then dropping the bike and running away, McCabe fell over as he was being chased by Bennett, according to the documents.
Bennett apparently didn't see that McCabe was pulling out a handgun, but once it was out, Bennett tried to control McCabe by his hands.
When Bennett lost control of McCabe's hands, Bennett backed away, and broadcast his situation on the police radio, the documents state.
McCabe, who was still on the ground, then fired his first shot from the .380-caliber handgun, striking Officer Bennett in the face. The bullet hit him on the side of the chin, and went out through his cheek.
According to the probable-cause statement, that shot knocked Bennett to the ground, and McCabe walked over to him, stood over him, and fired off more shots.
At some point during this, Bennett was able to pull his gun on McCabe, hitting McCabe in both hands before he ran away.
Although the initial report from police was that Bennett was shot six times, with three of those bullets being stopped by a bulletproof vest, these documents state Bennett was shot five times, with two of those shots being stopped by his vest.
The three other bullets landed in Bennett's cheek, thigh, and arm. Still, just a couple days after the shooting, Bennett was able to walk around and talk to the media.
As for McCabe, he dropped the gun at the scene, and hid in someone's shed for a bit before officers found him.
McCabe's been charged with attempted first-degree murder, misconduct involving weapons, resisting arrest, and criminal trespassing. His bond was set at $1 million.
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