Phoenix Cops Shoot at Man Threatening Officers With AK-47 (Airsoft Rifle), Police Say

Russell McKinney almost lost his life because he threatened Phoenix police with an AK-47 -- even though the weapon turned out to be a toy airsoft gun, police say.

Just after 6 p.m. Saturday, police responded to a call because someone allegedly had broken the window of a home near 37th Avenue and Grovers. Two officers stepped out of the car and noticed the broken window and the front door open.

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As police entered the home, they commanded two men in the living room to lie on the ground. McKinney, 35, later emerged from the hallway, holding what looked to be an AK-47 rifle, police say.

McKinney had been drinking most the day, according to his girlfriend, and after they'd had an argument, she locked him out of the house. He punched a hole in the window, and the family hid inside waiting for police.

McKinney raised the rifle toward the officers, police say, and the cop closest to McKinney fired twice -- missing McKinney -- and both officers retreated outside for cover.

McKinney eventually walked outside, sans rifle. By then, backup had arrived, but McKinney ignored officers commands and turned around to return inside the house, police say.

Officers let loose a dog and shot McKinney with a stun-bag shotgun.

The dog bit McKinney and he hit back, police say. After officers tased him, he finally calmed down long enough to be arrested. He later was taken to the hospital and treated for dog bites.

Police swept the house and found the other members of the family. They checked out the AK-47 and discovered it was only a toy rifle, noticing that someone had spray-painted gray over its bright orange tip.

McKinney was booked into the Maricopa County Jail and charged with two counts of aggravated assault on a police officer and one count of harming a work or service animal.

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Weston Phippen
Contact: Weston Phippen