A man who began throwing rocks at Phoenix police officers was shot dead when one of the rocks struck an officer’s hand Saturday morning.
After all, they say, the rock bounced off a tree and could have struck the officer’s head.
The man started throwing rocks at a police cruiser after it pulled out of a precinct in West Phoenix, according to the Arizona Republic.
The cop called for backup as the man threw another rock at the precinct, shattering a window.
And the man threw another rock when a cop stepped out of the building, which bounced off a tree and struck the officer in the hand.
And that was all the justification needed for the cop to open fire, killing him.
The Arizona Republic, which reported that it was either a “heavy rock or brick,” interviewed a police officer on video, who only referred to the object as a rock.
“He picked up a big rock and threw it at one of the officers,” explained Phoenix Police Sergeant Jonathan Howard.
“It bounced off a tree and fortunately didn’t hit him in his head where he thought it was about to, but it bounced down and struck that officer. That officer returned by shooting one time with his gun, striking that suspect and ending this violent encounter.”
Howard also convinced the Republic that the man was aiming for the officer’s head, but that is impossible to determine without interviewing the man, who is no longer living.
The man also attempted to hit an officer in the head with a heavy rock or brick as he was coming out of the station.
The object missed the officer’s head and instead hit his hand. He sustained minor injuries.
Fox 10 informed it’s readers that it was a brick the man threw at the officer. And Sergeant Howard informed that news crew the bricks possibly came from a wall in front of the precinct, also adding that it was all under investigation, so they can’t determine for sure what the man was throwing.
But whatever it was, it was enough to justify killing him, he stressed.
“I think when you look at the damage to both the patrol car and the glass at the precinct, you’ll see that this man was intent on doing some harm this morning,” Sgt. Jonathan Howard told KPHO.
The man, who has not been identified, was described as a white man in his 30s. And the local media reports that it is unknown why he was throwing rocks at cops. Or bricks. Or whatever the investigation determines he was throwing.
But it’s probably not a stretch to assume the man was suffering from mental illness. Possibly another suicide-by-cop case.
And we already know cops in this country are incapable of dealing with mentally ill citizens.
And the name of the Phoenix cop has not been released either, but he was treated at the scene for a minor injury to his hand.