Shortly before 8:30 p.m. last night, officers from Operations Division Midtown (ODM) responded to Gene C. Reid Park for the reports of an adult male in crisis. The male caller reported he was armed with a firearm and he was in the southern area of the park.
Mental health professionals within the Public Safety Communications Department (PSCD) attempted to speak with the male on the phone prior to officers arriving on scene in an effort to de-escalate the situation.
As officers were responding to the park, PSCD received additional 9-1-1 calls from community members reporting that they heard gunfire in the park. As officers arrived on scene, officers heard a commotion in the southern area of the park and quickly headed that direction. Officers located the male, observed he was armed with a firearm, and attempted to establish communication with him.
Due to the public safety threat, officers began to evacuate the park and surrounding areas. Additionally, officers from the Hostage Negotiations Unit, K- 9, and Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team responded to assist. A sergeant with advanced training in hostage negotiations and crisis intervention spoke with the suspect until hostage negotiators arrived and continued the communication efforts.
The suspect began to move towards an open area of the park, away from officers, when a K-9 was deployed. Both the suspect and officers discharged their firearms, resulting in the suspect and K-9 being struck.
Officers rendered aid to the suspect and the wounded K-9 by using their Individual First Aid Kits. The suspect was transported to Banner University Medical Center with life-threatening injuries.
The K-9 was transported to Valley Animal Hospital and is currently in stable condition. No other community members or other officers were injured in this incident.
The Pima Regional Critical Incident Team has been activated to handle the criminal investigation of this incident. The Pima County Sheriff’s Department is the lead investigating agency of the team.
Members from TPD’s Office of Professional Standards will be conducting a separate, but parallel, investigation to determine if any policy violations occurred. As is standard practice in all officer-involved shootings, all findings will be forwarded to the Pima County Attorney’s Office for review once the investigation is complete.