Photo Radar Van Worker Shot Dead on Loop 101; UPDATE: Suspect in Custody


Police are hunting have arrested a suspect in a SUV who shot a photo radar van operator Sunday night.


 The 51-year-old victim, Doug Georgianni, had worked for the photo enforcement company Redflex as a "driver-technician" for only three months, according to a news release just put out by the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

Georgianni was shot as he worked in a fully marked DPS photo radar van parked on the side of the eastbound lanes of the Loop 101, just east of 7th Street.

The pictures of the suspect vehicle in this post were released by PD this morning.

This news will ripple across oceans to communities around the world that have speed cameras. At first blush, this appears to be nothing less than the assassination of a low-level bureaucrat to make a political statement -- a terrorist act.

No doubt there will be more news released on this one as the day goes on, but we can tell you what cops have said so far. Here's the first news release from DPS on the incident, e-mailed just after 2 a.m.:

RedFlex Employee is Killed by Gunshots on State Route 101 near 7th Avenue

Note: Initial Incident Information
On the evening of Sunday, April 19, 2009, about 8:48 PM, on State Route 101 eastbound near 7th Avenue, an employee of RedFlex Traffic Systems was killed as result of gunshots received. The employee was inside of an Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) photo enforcement program vehicle (Ford Escape) and was parked alongside State Route 101 performing the routine tasks of monitoring the data collection equipment.

DPS Director Roger Vanderpool, stated the shooting was appalling, senseless and this ridiculous act has taken the life of an employee performing not only their assigned duties but specifically performing a function that has proven to save motorists lives through the photo enforcement program. DPS has committed the full resources of the department to assist the family, co-workers and friends of the RedFlex employee during this tragedy.

Phoenix Police Department received 9-1-1 phone calls around 8:50 PM, reference gun shots in the area of the DPS vehicle. DPS Officers and Phoenix PD Officers were on scene within minutes and identified that several gun shots had struck the vehicle and the employee had also been shot. The employee was transported to an area hospital where unfortunately later, died as a result of the gunshot wounds.

DPS and Phoenix PD investigators are conducting a joint investigation into this homicide. Information will be provided on the name of employee sometime on Monday morning. Phoenix PD will be providing information on the investigative phase of the homicide.


At about 3 a.m., Phoenix police put out a more detailed description of the suspect:

Phoenix Police homicide investigators have asked me to advise you of the following possible suspect description obtained from witnesses:

Suspect: w/m; 60's; thin face; white unkempt hair midway down to the ears; white mustache; smelled of smoke

This possible suspect was seen in the previously photographed suspect vehicle. Investigators believe the suspect left the crime scene in the vehicle, got off the 101 Freeway at 7th Street, and drove southbound on 7th Street from the freeway.

Again, anyone who sees the suspect vehicle or suspect should call 911. Anyone who knows who the suspect is and recognizes the suspect vehicle vehicle is encouraged to call Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS or for Spanish call 480-TESTIGO.


UPDATE 9:48 a.m.: Phoenix police announce they have arrested a suspect in the shooting. No further details were released. At 10:12 a.m., Phoenix police Sergeant Andy Hill e-mails that cops are "just starting the suspect interview process" and will brief the press later this afternoon.

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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.