The man whose suicide was broadcast live across the country on Fox News this afternoon had stolen a car in Phoenix and shot at police officers this morning, according to Phoenix police.
Phoenix police Sergeant Tommy Thompson tells New Times that police have not figured out who this man is yet, but police were after him for quite some time.
Someone called police this morning, reporting that a man walking near 72nd Avenue and McDowell Road this morning had hit a car, although it's not clear exactly what he did to that car.
While officers were responding to that, the man somehow managed to rob people of their car -- not the same vehicle he damaged.
Police spotted him shortly after he stole the car, and after chasing the man for a while, police dropped back into "surveillance," Thompson says. Undercover vehicles and helicopters were following him at this point.
Near 44th Avenue and Roosevelt, two officers -- one inside an undercover vehicle, the other standing outside a second undercover vehicle -- were parked off to the side of the road. Thompson says the man drove to the other side of the road and shot at the officers before driving his car onto Interstate 10.
At least one car was hit with a bullet, but the officers themselves were not hit.
By the time the man drove out to around 500th Avenue, he exited the interstate, drove south, and started heading back east.
It's not yet clear why the man stopped at 491st Avenue, but that's where he got out of the car and ran for a bit before shooting himself in the head. He died at the scene.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.