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Police: Arrest Made in ‘Ambush’ Shooting of Phoenix Officer

PHOENIX (AP) — A rookie patrol officer was recovering Saturday from gunshot wounds and a 29-year-old man was jailed on multiple felony charges including attempted murder in what Pheonix’s interim police chief and others called an ambush shooting at the scene of a reported hit-and-run crash, authorities said.

Chief Michael Sullivan told reporters the officer was shot in her left hip and bullet fragments hit her face in the Friday morning shooting, but she was in stable condition at Banner University Medical Center. The officer was not identified by name.

“This was an ambush on our officer,” Sullivan said, promising to enlist “local, state, and federal partners to do whatever we can to reduce gun crime and hold those accountable.”

Police identified the alleged assailant as Joseph Lopez. Records showed Lopez was held on $1 million bail at the Maricopa County Jail pending a court appearance on charges that included aggravated assault against a police officer and possession of a weapon by a prohibited person. Records did not reflect a court date or the name of an attorney who could speak on Lopez’s behalf.

Phoenix Law Enforcement Association President Darrell Kriplean told the Arizona Republic the assailant waited in a vehicle at the scene of the reported hit-and-run until the officer approached. The assailant emerged with a rifle, fired several shots and fled. Kriplean also characterized the shooting an ambush.

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Police Sgt. Brian Bower said Lopez was found late Friday on the roof of a home not far from the scene of the shooting and was hospitalized following his arrest for what Bower described as minor injuries. Another police officer was bitten by a police dog during the search, officials said.

Bower said the wounded female officer has been with the department for less than a year.

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