On Sunday night, Phoenix police officer Paul Bennett noticed something off about a man riding a bicycle on the 2100 block of West Georgia Avenue. The neighborhood had recently been hit with a string of burglaries, so police were keeping a close eye on any suspicious activity.
Bennett decided to stop the man. After a brief chase, the suspect shot Bennett six times, Fox 10 News reports. Fortunately, a bullet proof vest saved the officer's life.
The suspect, who hasn't been named, is facing charges for attempted murder.
During the stop, the suspect got off the bike and began removing a backpack he had on. When Bennett ordered him not to move, the suspect ran off, according to authorities.
At some point, the suspect fell the ground, pulled out a handgun, and began firing at Bennett. Bennett returned fire and both men were hit.
Bennett called for backup, and about 80 patrol cars responded, according to authorities. By the time they arrived, the suspect had fled the scene.
He was found an hour later, hiding in the backyard shed of a nearby home. The suspect refused to surrender, and a police dog was used to apprehend him.
Bennett was taken to a nearby hospital in serious condition. He'd been shot six times, according to authorities. One bullet entered his jaw and exited the back of his neck. Others hit him in the hip and face.
Fortunately, the officer was wearing a ballistic vest that shielded him from at least three bullets. On Monday, Bennett went into surgery.
When he's released from the hospital, the 28-year-old suspect will be booked into jail on one count of attempted murder. While first-degree murder is a Class 1 felony, attempted murder is a Class 2 felony. Since the suspect had a prior felony conviction, he could face up to 28 years in prison if convicted.
- Phoenix police officer shot at least 5 times owes life to vest (AZfamily.com)
- First Degree Murder (FindLaw)
- First Degree Murder Penalties and Sentencing (FindLaw)
- Phoenix Teen Stabbed to Death After Breaking Up a Fight (FindLaw's Phoenix Criminal Law Blog)