Two Suspects Face Charges Following Shooting Of Phoenix Officer

January 02, 2014

PHOENIX  — A Phoenix police officer and a Maricopa County sheriff's posse member remained in critical condition Wednesday following a shooting that was spurred by an armed robbery and police chase.

The shooting happened Tuesday following an armed robbery outside a Phoenix restaurant. Officers chased Roger Allen Sharp, 26, and David Lee Murray Jr., 36, until their getaway car crashed into a pickup truck at an intersection, police said.

After the crash, one officer had Sharp at gunpoint and was giving him commands but the two began to struggle, police said. The off-duty posse member, who was driving the pickup, tried to help.

"Ultimately, Sharp was able to take control of the officer's gun, and he used it to shoot both the officer and the man who came to his aid," Sgt. Tommy Thompson said in a news release.

Police said Sharp and Murray ran into a neighborhood, where they were captured a short time later. Scottsdale police also recovered a handgun that is believed to belong to the wounded officer.

Sharp, 26, is facing charges that include armed robbery, resisting arrest, burglary and attempted murder. Murray, 36, is facing two armed robbery counts.

Thompson said the investigation is ongoing.

The 34-year-old wounded officer has been with Phoenix police for seven years and is married and has children. He was shot in the abdomen and underwent surgery at a Scottsdale hospital.

A civilian who was riding along with the officer was not injured.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio said the volunteer posse member, a 63-year-old Vietnam veteran, was not on duty the day of the shooting but still took action to help the officer.

"This is a sad day," the sheriff said Tuesday.

The names of the wounded men haven't been released.

More than 50 officer-involved shootings occurred in the Phoenix area in 2013, making for one of the most violent years for officers and suspects. Authorities have said nearly all of the people shot by police last year were armed.