A 17-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with an apparently unprovoked shooting of two Arizona Department of Public Safety detectives in west Phoenix this morning.
The detectives were sitting in their vehicle near West Portland Street and North 35th Avenue while troopers served a warrant in conjunction with the U.S. Marshals’ fugitive task force, when a vehicle pulled up and the passenger opened fire, said department spokesperson Bart Graves. The detectives were not wearing uniforms but had bullet-proof vests that said “police” on the front, he said.
The driver then took off without the passenger and the alleged teen shooter was quickly captured by officers in the area.
“Nobody was hurt. Nobody was hit,” Graves said. He said they currently had no idea what the motivation might be.
This appears to be the second unprovoked shooting against police in Phoenix this week. A 68-year-old man is facing federal charges in connection to the shooting of a U.S. Marshal’s courthouse security officer outside the federal courthouse downtown on Tuesday. Despite speculation fueled by baseless claims on social media by Phoenix City Councilmember Sal DiCiccio, authorities have not pointed to any political motive for the shooting, instead saying in court documents that a family member and a neighbor of the man charged had struggled with mental-health issues.
Police are still looking for the driver and issued a “blue alert” earlier this afternoon, which showed up on cell phones across metro Phoenix, but lacked any detail. “Blue alerts” were established by a 2014 law and are sent out by DPS when police are looking for someone suspected of attacking officers with a deadly weapon.
Graves said DPS will release more information about the shooting later this afternoon.
AZDPS detectives seek public assistance locating this vehicle, believed to be a silver 2008-2013 Infinity model G-37 with custom wheels. It has a temporary plate & appears to have chipped paint below the license plate area. If seen, please call 9-1-1 immediately. pic.twitter.com/17xfuEp72S
— Dept. of Public Safety (@Arizona_DPS) September 17, 2020