GILBERT, Arizona (AP) — A suspect in a stolen car struck and killed one police officer and critically injured another during a wild chase involving gunfire and multiple law enforcement agencies that ended in a Phoenix suburb, authorities said Friday.
Chandler Police Officer Christopher Farrar was killed and a Gilbert police officer was hospitalized in critical condition, their departments said.
“Chris was struck and killed by a violent felon in a stolen vehicle following a multi-agency shooting and pursuit,” Chandler Police Chief Sean Duggan said.
The suspect was injured while finally being taken into custody as officers engaged in gunfire, said Officer Paul Alaniz, a Gilbert police spokesman.
An employee at a Ford dealership also was among the injured, Alaniz said.
Except for Farrar, no identities were released. Alaniz said the incident was an active investigation and that many details on what happened during the pursuit and the capture were not immediately available.
Alaniz and Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb said the pursuit began Thursday night in the nearby county when a sheriff’s deputy tried to pull over a speeding vehicle and reported he’d been shot at.
Alaniz said the pursuit started in the Eloy area of Pinal County and went into Chandler in metro Phoenix “where the suspect drove into the airport and busted through a gate going into the airport, causing the airport to shut down,” Alaniz said.
The suspect then got back on a highway into Gilbert, a neighboring Phoenix suburb, where he broke into the SanTan Motorplex and stole a vehicle from the Ford dealership there, running over the two officers as he tried to get away, Alaniz said.
Duggan said his slain officer had touched many lives during his 18 years on the force.
“I just ask that you keep Chris’s family in your thoughts and prayers, and take a moment and be mindful of the brave men and women who are out there daily helping keep our communities safe,” the chief said.