A Phoenix police officer was stabbed yesterday morning while trying to break up an attack on a woman in the middle of rush-hour traffic.
Phoenix Police Sergeant Trent Crump says both the woman and the officer were stabbed by the man, who turned out to be a suspect in a killing the night before.
"Late last night we had a bulletin out and were starting to look for this individual as a homicide suspect," Crump says. "Our officer unfortunately . . . did not have that information and/or a detailed description of the suspect at that point, and was literally out there confronting a homicide suspect, unbeknownst to him."
The officer, identified only as a 20-year veteran of the force at this point, was responding to numerous calls of a fight near 16th and Van Buren streets, around 7:30 a.m.
Given that the incident occurred during rush hour, there were apparently plenty of witnesses to what happened when the officer approached the man and woman, who haven't been identified at this point either.
"There are numerous witness accounts that the suspect immediately struck our officer, [then] grabbed the female victim -- who we understand is an on-and-off girlfriend of his -- and ultimately begins to stab her," Crump says.
He was able to drag her into traffic, but the officer shot the man, Crump says. The man continued to come at the officer with the knife, even stabbing the officer, and was shot again. Crump says the stab wound to the officer's chest was partially deflected by his vest, and the officer was expected to be released from the hospital yesterday.
After the second shot, the officer was able to hold the man down until backup arrived, and even then, Crump says the man started fighting again, and the man was ultimately hit with the Taser before finally being arrested.
The woman attacked by the man was hospitalized with serious wounds, police say, and it appears that the man is going to survive, too.
Police say the man is believed to have fatally stabbed another man in an apartment the previous night near 16th and Adams streets, although the man allegedly used different knives in the separate incidents. Police have recovered both knives. Police plan on releasing his identity once he's charged.
Crump says that, according to some witnesses, the suspect had been smoking meth for a few days leading up to yesterday morning.
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