Phoenix Police Detective Shot in the Leg; Suspect Fatally Shoots Himself

A Phoenix police detective was shot in the leg Thursday night by a convicted felon who committed suicide before he could be arrested.

The detective, 10-year veteran Bryan Cuthbertson, was with another detective in the gang-enforcement unit Thursday night near 34th Avenue and Roosevelt Street when they tried to make contact with 31-year-old Salvador Acevedo, who was on a bicycle.

As the detectives got out of their vehicle to talk to Acevedo, he ran behind the detectives' vehicle and started shooting at them, police say.

"This just goes to prove that what we're facing in our city right now . . . is gangs, guns, and drugs," Police Chief Daniel Garcia says. "This suspect is an example of what we're facing at this point."

Cuthbertson was hit in the leg, and neither detective was able to return fire as Acevedo started running through Falcon Park.

Phoenix Police Sergeant Trent Crump says Acevedo continued to fire at the detectives over his shoulder as he was running, and Acevedo apparently shot himself through the shoulder while doing so.

When responding officers and a police aircraft spotted Acevedo a couple of blocks away, Acevedo fatally shot himself in the head, Crump says.

Acevedo had been released from prison in 2013 after serving about eight years for aggravated assault and drive-by shooting charges, state prison records show.

Although the detectives who stopped Acevedo last night did not suspect him of a particular crime, Crump says they found Acevedo suspicious, and were looking to make a "consensual stop." Acevedo's possession of a handgun as a convicted felon would have been enough to arrest him on a felony charge.

Meanwhile, Cuthbertson was hospitalized for the gunshot wound, but is expected to be fine.

"I got to speak with Bryan last night, and he was in a good mood," Garcia says. "I could tell that he had a very good prognosis just by how he was talking to us. I was very pleased to hear the doctors tell us that his prognosis is very, very good."

Got a tip? Send it to: Matthew Hendley.

Follow Valley Fever on Twitter at @ValleyFeverPHX. Follow Matthew Hendley at @MatthewHendley.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley