Phoenix police shooting: Officer killed in shootout with fugitive

Officer John Hobbs died Monday in a shootout with a convicted felon.

By Kate Stanton

PHOENIX, March 4 (UPI) -- Phoenix police said Tuesday that 43-year-old Officer John Hobbs died in a shootout with a convicted felon named William Thornton, who also died.

Hobbs' partner, who has not been identified, was wounded and taken to the hospital St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center, where he remains in stable condition.


"Today is a tragic reminder that our officers risk their lives for us every single day," Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton told reporters Tuesday.

"This is the worst part of policing, the hard part of policing, the tragic part of policing and the part that always strikes a chord," Phoenix Police Chief Daniel V. Garcia said. Not only for our officers in relation to losing a fellow officer, but for our citizens and, I know, for City Hall.”

Police said Thornton was released from an Arizona state prison on January 9, after serving more than a year on narcotics charges. He soon became a suspect for the Feb. 25 attempted murder of a man shot in the chest.

Garcia said that Hobbs and his partner had been pursuing Thornton in a sedan when Thornton crashed at an intersection, got out of his car and "immediately opened fire.". Police said that Hobbs was immediately shot and hit the pavement, but continued to return Thornton's fire.

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Hobbs is survived by his wife and three children, ages 10, 8 and 6.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer ordered state flags to be flown at half-staff Tuesday.

[AZ Central, KPHO, My Fox Phoenix]

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