Phoenix PD Officer Identified in Shooting Death of Murder Suspect in Hance Park

Phoenix police identified the officer today who shot a 27-year-old murder suspect in Margaret T. Hance Park last week, after she refused to surrender and after she strode toward people in the park in a manner deemed menacing.

Officer Chris Trapp, a 20-year veteran, fired a single shot that hit the suspect, who later died, just as another gunshot went off, the Phoenix Police Department said.

The department is still completing its internal review of the incident and will assign Trapp to a nonenforcement position upon his return, which is departmental procedure, Phoenix Police Sergeant Vince Lewis said. He added that it has not been determined which shot was fatal.

The incident unfolded shortly after noon on May 15, when police arrived at an apartment at 10 West Minnezona Avenue. There they found Todd Landon, 55, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. He was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he died.

Phoenix detectives suspected Jonie Block, 27, and put out a statewide alert for the women they said was armed and dangerous, along with her photo and a description of her car.

Police did not immediately say what led them to suspect Block, who went to FEZ restaurant at Central Avenue and Portland Street. There she sat for several hours, police said.

She left at about 5:15 p.m. but was confronted outside by a staff member over her tab. The employee called police to report that Block pointed a handgun at the the employee. Police arrived to the café, but by then Block had gone.

They found her about 45 minutes later, seated alone inside the nearby Japanese Friendship Garden Park. She was armed and threatening herself, police said.

Officers from the Special Assignments Unit, Canine Unit, and patrol responded, started to contain the park and order Block to stand down.

She refused, and started to walk into an open area of the park, where a number of people were “still in harm’s way,” a police press release said.

At that point, Trapp, 45, fired one round from his service weapon at Block, just as Block fired her own gun, according to the release. She was struck and felled, and police on the scene began administering first aid. She was taken to a nearby hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Trapp is assigned to the Special Assignments Unit, Phoenix’s SWAT team.

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Sean Holstege is a former editor of Phoenix New Times. He's been a print news reporter for 35 years. He was an investigative reporter at The Arizona Republic and the Oakland Tribune. He won a Sigma Delta Chi award for investigative reporting. He’s covered transportation, terrorism, the border, disasters, child welfare, courts, and breaking news.
Contact: Sean Holstege