Phoenix/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on April 16, 2024
Gang Member Sentenced to 25 Years for Ambush Attack on Phoenix Police OfficerSource: Unsplash/ Larry Farr

A gang member has been hit with a hefty 25-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to an "ambush style" attack that left a Phoenix police officer wounded. Joseph Eleno Lopez, 30, attacked the officer, who was responding to a car accident in March last year, according to the Maricopa County Attorney's Office.

As reported by FOX 10 Phoenix, the officer, later identified as Morgan Bullis, was approaching the scene in her patrol car when Lopez pulled out a rifle and opened fire. Despite being hit in the hip and face by bullet fragments, she managed to drive away from the scene and later recovered from her non-life-threatening injuries.

Lopez, who officials say is a member of a criminal street gang and had five prior felony convictions, was on probation at a time of the shooting. After firing at Officer Bullis, he escaped to a nearby apartment complex, where he barricaded himself for hours before finally being apprehended by police, shared by authorities.

According to HeadTopics, Lopez's standoff with police ended after he exited the building through a vent on the roof. Prior to his capture, Lopez had been hiding in the attic while officers entered the building and deployed gas to flush him out.

Bullis, the injured officer, showed resilience by returning to duty within months of the ambush, resuming her responsibilities on July 12, 2023. This case's conclusion brings a measure of closure to a violent chapter in the community.