Police used shields to rescue baby during Phoenix standoff

7 months ago

PHOENIX -- SWAT officers used ballistic shields as they rescued a baby girl during a standoff with a gunman who earlier ambushed one officer, who was seriously wounded, and before shooting and less seriously wounding four other patrol officer as they tried unsuccessfully to take the baby to safety, Phoenix police said.

The incident Friday left the gunman and a woman believed to be his ex-girlfriend dead and the baby unharmed. All of the five wounded officers were expected to survive, police said. Four additional officers had minor injuries after being struck by shrapnel or ricocheting bullets, police said.

In a statement released late Friday, police also said that after he shot the first officer, the gunman tried unsuccessfully to drive out of the garage of the home where he later barricaded himself and was found dead inside hours later.

The getaway attempt was thwarted because a parked patrol patrol car blocked his vehicle, the police statement said. “When he was unsuccessful, he went back into the house."

Police on Friday identified the dead suspect as 36-year-old Morris Richard Jones III.

Federal court records showed Jones had a criminal history dating back to at least 2007, including convictions in Oklahoma for using a firearm during a drug trafficking crime and possessing a firearm after a felony conviction and in Arizona for conspiring to transport, for profit, people who were in the country illegally.

The woman died at a hospital after being found critically wounded in the home. Her name wasn't released.

It wasn't known whether Jones killed himself or died from shots fired by police. Sgt. Andy Williams, a police spokesperson, said Saturday no updates were available.

Police went to the home in response to a 911 call reporting the shooting of a woman.

The first officer was ambushed and shot as he approached the door but “was able to back away and find cover," the statement said.

The second officer to arrive fired at Jones, who went back into the home, the statement said.

Jones' attempt to then flee by driving out of the garage was thwarted because a parked patrol patrol car blocked his vehicle, the police statement said. “When he was unsuccessful , he went back into the home."

During the ensuing barricade situation, a man whose identity hasn't been released stepped out out of the front door, put a baby down and then surrendered to police, police said.

Officers then approached the front door to rescue the baby but Jones shot at them, wounding four with bullets as four others were struck by ricochets or shrapnel, police said.

After members of the police department's Special Assignment Unit arrived at the scene, those officers used shields to reach the child, the statement said. “Jones also fired shots at the SAU officers during the barricade."

“A baby is safe today because of our Phoenix police officer...

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