Peoria Cop Shoots at Rifle-Wielding Suspect; Man was Behaving Erratically, Attempting Carjacks, Police Say

 A 42-year-old Peoria police officer with two years on the job shot at a berserk man who pointed a rifle at him last night, cops say.

All police will say about the suspect so far is that he's a 23-year-old Peoria resident. Calls began coming in about him at about 11:45 p.m. in the area of 75th Avenue and Thunderbird. He was threatening suicide, pointing a rifle at people, trying to carjack motorists and start fights, police say.

Then Officer, Dave Perron (pictured), drove up for the showdown in a Kentucky Fried Chicken parking lot.

The man pointed his rifle at Perron and the cop fired once, sending the man to the ground. But he wasn't hit -- he stood up again and leveled the rifle. Perron took another shot, which also missed.

It isn't clear what happened next from a police write-up, but more officers arrived and the man was arrested without further ado. He ended up cutting his head while banging it around inside a squad car -- hmm, could it be that an illegal substance was involved?

Perron's on administrative leave pending a review of the incident. We can't picture him getting in trouble over this -- though he might need a few more hours at the range. Based on this info from Peoria PD, it sounds like the suspect should have never gotten the chance to point that rifle a second time.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.