A gunman clad in tactical gear went on a terrifying “shooting spree” in Phoenix, Arizona, killing two people in a motel parking lot and injuring five others, including two cops, authorities say.
Police said the rampage ended only after the suspected gunman appeared to kill himself in a nearby parking lot. Authorities had not identified him by Monday morning.
The rampage started near a Days Inn motel around 8:30 p.m., cops said. Security footage showed the gunman exit a room wearing tactical gear and a helmet, then open fire into the building.
Moments later, cops say the gunman fired shots toward a car as it pulled into the motel’s parking lot, striking and killing a man and woman who were inside.
Cops were dispatched to the area and a shootout ensued between them and the gunman.
Multiple patrol cars were “riddled with bullets,” cops said, and two officers were struck—one in the shoulder by a bullet, the other in the face by shrapnel.
The first officer struck was able to get out of his patrol car and return fire at the gunman, cops said. That officer was then pulled to safety and transported to a local hospital along with his injured colleague. Both are expected to survive, though one remained hospitalized on Monday morning.
While some officers engaged the gunman, witnesses said others ran to nearby businesses and cars trapped in traffic to evacuate bystanders. Some caught in the chaos fled on foot, leaving their cars behind.
“We heard a bunch of gunfire and whatnot, then a bunch of cops pull up behind us, run up to our door, tell us to turn our car off and get out and run the opposite way,” one witness told LLN Arizona. “I didn’t know what to think. I didn’t know what to do.”
Thunderous gunshots can be heard on video from the scene that’s begun circulating on social media. Cops say the gunman also threw a Molotov cocktail into a nearby restaurant, but it didn’t ignite.
The gunman fired more than 100 rounds in the shootout, Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams told KTAR News on Monday morning, adding, “Keep in mind, this isn’t a handgun—this a rifle,” she said.
The chief indicated that she was pleasantly surprised that more people weren’t injured, and praised her officers for keeping bystanders safe once they arrived.
In addition to the injured officers and two killed, three bystanders were caught in the crossfire and struck before officers arrived, cops said, but none remained hospitalized by the next morning.
After engaging police, the alleged shooter was seen on security footage collapsing onto the asphalt in a nearby parking lot. Phoenix police say they believe the man killed himself, but are awaiting an autopsy’s findings to officially determine his cause of death.
Police recovered a rifle, several rifle magazines, incendiary devices, a gas mask, and a helmet from the scene. A motive for the gunman’s rampage was not released by Monday.
“Kevlar helmet, tactical vest, high-powered rifle—this individual was set on doing damage to our community,” Williams said Monday.