Officers Ambushed as They Rescue Infant During Armed Standoff: Nine Officers Hurt, But Baby's Alive
Early Friday morning, a standoff took place between police and a man in a home in Phoenix, Arizona, near 51st Avenue and Buckeye Road.
Police responded to a 911 call about a woman who had been shot at around 2:15 a.m. The first officer on the scene approached the house and was ambushed.
“He was actually invited by the suspect,” Sgt. Andy Williams, a spokesperson for the Phoenix Police Department, said, according to KPHO-TV. “As he approached the doorway, the suspect ambushed him with a gun and shot him several times.”
The scene is still active. Stay inside and stay away from the area. https://t.co/6v0weCG5WW
— Phoenix Police (@PhoenixPolice) February 11, 2022
That officer was seriously injured, but managed to make it away from the home and was taken to the hospital.
As the standoff continued, another man exited the home, holding a baby. Video from the scene shows him clutching a diaper bag and bottle and holding a hand up in an apparent signal that he meant no harm.
He placed the baby and the baby items on the ground of the porch, right in front of the door, and started backing slowly towards police with his hands in the air.
As a group of officers neared the door and went to scoop up the baby, a volley of bullets was fired from within the home. As a result, four more officers were shot, and four others were wounded by ricocheting bullets or shrapnel.
Two officers help one of their own as he limps away from the scene. pic.twitter.com/5o7Z7tDMmB
— Maria Hechanova (@MariaHechanova) February 11, 2022
A statement released later on Friday detailed how a Special Assignment Unit with shields showed up to safely retrieve the infant. While the suspect continued to shoot at them, they managed to get the baby to safety, according to ABC News.
In the morning, police entered the home to find the suspect, identified as 36-year-old Morris Richard Jones III, dead. It is unclear whether he died from a self-inflicted wound or from police fire.
A woman, 29-year-old Shatifah Lobley, was also found in the home, critically injured. She was taken to the hospital but passed away later that day.
Authorities later said that Lobley was Jones’ ex-girlfriend, the baby was likely their one-month-old child and the man who placed the baby on the doorstep and surrendered himself was Lobley’s brother. The brother is not being considered a suspect at this time.
The child, miraculously, is fine and is now in the care of the Arizona Department of Child Safety.
On Sunday morning, the Phoenix Police Department shared on Facebook that all but two officers have been released from the hospital. The two remaining in the hospital are expected to recover.
Many are hailing the wounded officers as heroes for their sacrificial efforts to save the child. ABC News reported that Mayor Kate Gallego recognized their bravery: “A baby is safe today because of our Phoenix police officers.”
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