Police shoot and kill armed black man holding gun, turns he was just trying to stop criminals

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PHOENIX, AZ – A armed black man holding a group of thieves at gunpoint was shot and killed by Phoenix Police officers who had no idea when they arrived on scene.

Phoenix Police said this incident started when a Phoenix Police Officer observed an adult male, later identified as 39-year-old William Brookins, pointing a gun at a man and a woman. Those individuals had just robbed a local store and Brookins chased them down, hoping to be the hero at the end of the day. Instead, he was hospitalized for five days before succumbing to his injuries.

“The officer was fully uniformed, working off-duty, and had just finished his shift conducting traffic control at a nearby intersection when he overheard a loud commotion and observed Brookins pointing a handgun at a man and woman,” the department said. “At this time, the officer approached on foot, drew his duty weapon and told Brookins to drop his gun. Brookins did not respond to the commands, and the officer fired, striking Brookins.”

Immediately after the shooting, the officer and backup officers approached Brookins and moved his gun away from him. Due to the nature of his injuries, the medical assistance officers could provide was limited. Officers stayed with Brookins and attempted to keep him on his side in the recovery position until Phoenix Fire Personnel arrived and transported him to a local hospital. Brookins remained hospitalized for five days after the shooting until June 8th, when he succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased.

The shoplifting that was reported is under investigation. The handgun used by Brookins was recovered on scene.

The officer involved in this shooting is assigned to the Maryvale Precinct, Patrol Division, and has been with the department for four years.

Conclusions about whether the actions of the officers are consistent with department policy and the law will not be made until all facts are known and the investigation is complete. An internal investigation by the Professional Standard Bureau is currently underway, in addition to a criminal investigation. Once the criminal investigation is complete it will then be reviewed by the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.

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