Lifestyle & Human Interest

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.”

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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.

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.

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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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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking