Phoenix/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on June 21, 2024
Tucson Homicide Suspect Injured in Gunfire Exchange with Cochise County Law EnforcementSource: Google Street View

In what escalated into a violent confrontation, a traffic stop in Cochise County led to exchange of gunfire between a Tucson homicide suspect and law enforcement. The Cochise County Sheriff's Department confirmed to ABC15 that the incident took place on Naco Highway around 7:30 PM Wednesday night. The situation prompted a shelter-in-place order and resulted in the temporary closure of the highway.

The suspect, who was involved in an earlier altercation in Tucson that left 58-year-old Christopher Kershaw dead, had refused to yield during the stop before opening fire. The ordeal caused the suspect's vehicle to eventually crash, leaving them with multiple injuries. They were airlifted to a hospital for treatment. The connection between the suspect and an unidentified woman involved in the Tucson incident remains unclear, according to AZ Family.

AZ Family reports that after fleeing Tucson, the suspect was later involved in the shootout with deputies of Cochise County. The Tucson Police Department is now seeking information about the homicide, encouraging anyone with insights to call 88-CRIME.

Agencies including the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office, Sierra Vista Police Department, Bisby Police Department, and Border Patrol were all together involved in the response to the incident. The Arizona Department of Public Safety has been tasked to lead the investigation. "Based on the investigative briefs I have received, I’m confident in the actions by all involved as outlined within our legal authority and training," Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels told AZ Family. “Additionally, the collective decisions by everyone demonstrate the caliber of law enforcement officers, deputies, troopers, and agents working in Cochise County," he added.

As a result of the shooting, officers engaged in the operation have been placed on paid administrative leave, which is a standard procedure in such cases. Sierra Vista Police Chief Chris Hiser underscored the swift response required in high-pressure situations. "The officers involved in Wednesday’s shooting were required to act quickly and according to their training. I am thankful no officers or innocent bystanders were injured during this incident," Hiser said in a statement obtained by AZ Family.