An incident involving a man who threatened Phoenix police with AK-47-style airsoft gun this weekend is a perfect reminder that it's incredibly easy to avoid being shot by police officers, for the most part.
However, there are many things you can do that may prompt police to shoot you, as New Times has documented over the years. Check out our list of 10 ways we've seen people get shot by cops around the Valley:
10.) Point a Gun at a Cop
This is the obvious and most-used method. If you're going to point a gun at a police officer, for any reason at all, really, you should expect to be mowed down, regardless of whether you pull the trigger. It also doesn't matter whether the gun's real, because arguing that you were just holding a BB gun won't keep you alive.
Though a knife doesn't shoot projectiles, you should be well aware that police will see it as a deadly weapon. A Phoenix woman found this one out the hard way last year after she called police to deal with her ex-boyfriend, but she turned the knife on an officer when she was told to drop it.
8.) Confuse a Cop
This one's kind of out of your control, but in 2008, an armed man broke into a Phoenix home, while an entire family was there. The homeowner, Tony Arambula, grabbed his own gun and cornered the gunman in his son's bedroom, holding him at gunpoint. Police arrived, and six-year veteran Officer Brian Lilly accidentally shot the homeowner. Arambula, survived, despite being shot six times.
Just last month, 20-year-old Jourdan Akili Wagner was cornered in a Glendale backyard by a police dog after attempting to outrun police. When the dog came at him, Wagner pulled a gun and shot the dog, a Belgian Shepherd Malinois named Ronin. The dog's human partner, Officer Wes Zygmont, exchanged gunfire with Wagner. Officer Zygmont survived, but Ronin and Wagner did not.
If you're mad at police, you know what you should throw at them? Nothing. David Ybarra threw chunks of concrete about the size of softballs at Gilbert police officers last year, and was shot by police after Taser blasts did not bring him down. On a similar note, a Tempe man was recently shot by an officer after tossing a wine bottle at a cop's head.
Yes, cars can be deadly weapons. This kind of officer-involved shooting has happened several times in recent history in the Valley, including last summer, when Glendale Officer Justin Penrose pulled over 38-year-old Kenneth Girardot. Penrose had Girardot pretty much cornered in a parking lot, but Girardot tried to drive away after he saw backup officers pulling up -- figuring police were onto the fact he was driving a stolen car. He drove right at Penrose, and Penrose shot at the car, killing Girardot.
Luis Cardenas, 18, tried to drive onto a Scottsdale police car when he was cornered in an alley during his run from police in April. Cardenas ended up driving onto the hood of the cop car, at which point a DPS officer involved in the chase fired a shot at Cardenas, which went through his windshield but missed Cardenas. Luckily for Cardenas, police were able to arrest Cardenas without shooting him.
John Loxas was killed in Scottsdale last year after answering the door for police, who were responding to a neighbor's claim that Loxas pointed a gun at him. Loxas, holding his grandchild while he was standing in the doorway of his home, was shot in the forehead by a police officer standing in his driveway. A gun was found near Loxas. Turns out, that was Scottsdale Officer James Peters' sixth kill in his 12 years, and he was able to "retire" with benefits. The city agreed to pay a $4.25 million settlement to Loxas' surviving family.
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SHOW ME HOW
Some people have the misfortune of dealing with society's scummiest cops. Such was the case of Daniel Rodriguez, a Phoenix man who had an encounter with murder suspect and Phoenix cop Richard Chrisman. Rodriguez and his dog were fatally shot by Chrisman when he and another officer responded to a domestic violence call at Rodriguez's home. Chrisman put a gun to Rodriguez's head, pepper-sprayed him, tased him, and shot his dog before shooting him -- all without justification, allegedly. He's still awaiting trial.
As far as "asking for it," this is number-two, right behind pointing a gun at a police officer. All cops have guns and none of them are too sympathetic toward criminals. The only case of this we know from around here occurred in Phoenix, when a Tolleson cop was taking a nap in his house when he heard breaking glass in his house. There, he saw a 17-year-old with a "large rock," who cocked back his arm, and, you bet, that kid got shot in the head.