A Glendale police officer shot and killed a man Saturday after the man drove a stolen car straight at him, police say.
Glendale Officer Justin Penrose fired at Kenneth Girardot, 38, after Girardot attempted to drive away from what started as traffic stop, then drove at Penrose, according to police.
Girardot initially attempted to avoid Penrose when the officer first signaled for him to pull over near 59th Avenue and Camelback Road, but he eventually pulled over into a parking lot of a nearby Jack in the Box a few streets over, according to police.
During the stop, Penrose took information from Girardot and his passenger, 39-year-old Raymond Flores. Penrose ran the information of the two men and the vehicle, discovered the vehicle was stolen, and called for back-up.
When Girardot saw a backup officer approaching the scene, he began to "aggressively" move the vehicle back and forth to get out of his parking spot.
Penrose yelled to Girardot to stop moving the vehicle, police say, but Girardot ignored him and continued -- until the car was pointed right at Penrose and headed right for him, police say. At that point, Penrose shot at the car, killing Girardot.
Flores was brought in for questioning, and was eventually arrested on an outstanding warrant.
"Right or wrong or whatever, the truth, that's what we want. Did he have to kill my son? What happened there?" Girardot's father told ABC15. "I am just looking to figure out what happened here. There were things that went bad."
Girardot's father acknowledged that his son struggles with a heroin addiction.
It's unclear how fast the vehicle was moving towards Penrose prior to him firing. Glendale police did not immediately return a call for comment.
Penrose is on paid leave.
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.