Phoenix/ Crime & Emergencies
AI Assisted Icon
Published on April 22, 2024
Traffic Stop in Cottonwood Spirals Into Fatal Encounter, Officer on Leave Following Deadly ShootingSource: Youtube/Cottonwood AZ Police

Chaos erupted on the night of April 12 when a routine traffic stop turned deadly, bodycam and dash-cam footage reveal. Thirty-two-year-old Donovan Jelicich was fatally shot by a Cottonwood police officer after a violent clash that left both men damaged. The incident began when Jelicich was pulled over for not using his headlights and tailgating another vehicle, as reported by FOX 10 Phoenix.

The situation quickly escalated after the officer repeatedly told Jelicich to stay in his car, which he disobeyed and instead tried to earnestly open an insurance app on his phone. When the officer questioned whether there was an issue, Jelicich responded, "Yeah, there is too much going on in the city." A struggle ensued soon after on an embankment off the sidewalk, with Jelicich putting the officer in a chokehold and striking him multiple times before the officer resorted to using their taser and then, ultimately, their firearm, as conveyed by the AZ Family.

Video evidence discloses Jelicich being tased before launching another attack on the officer, leading to the fatal gunshot. The footage could not capture the shooting clearly due to darkness. "Get away from me," the officer said, after Jelicich resumed his attack. The bodycam video shows Jelicich walking away before he was struck by the taser, then rising and charging the officer in a renewed onslaught. Jelicich was later handcuffed by another officer upon their arrival at the scene and was airlifted to a hospital where he died days later. The officer who received injuries to his head and eye from the brawl was also treated at the hospital, as observed in the videos.

The officer involved, a six-year veteran of the force, was placed on non-disciplinary paid administrative leave per department policy following the shooting. An evaluation of the released footage and the subsequent repercussions will continue to unfold as both the law enforcement community and the public grapple to understand the precise nature of the tragedy.