PHOENIX, AZ – Phoenix police released video and 911 audio of an incident when officers shot and killed an armed man holding his baby hostage. The harrowing incident unfolded on January 9.
The incident began at approximately 3:15 p.m. when a hotel manager called 911 reporting a man assaulting a woman. Several other 911 calls received included reports of a man fighting with a woman and reports of a man shooting at people. Another call to 911 came from a woman at the hotel who said the man took her baby:
“My husband just took my baby. He has a gun. He’s loaded. He took the baby. He is trying to kill him. He’s fired. He’s shooting…he’s going to kill people.”
Surveillance video captured 37-year-old Paul Bolden wrestling a baby from the arms of a woman in the parking lot of the hotel. The man then ran into traffic on Van Buren Street, and several 911 calls reported he stopped a car and held the driver at gunpoint.
One 911 caller told a dispatcher:
“I’m at the McDonald’s drive-thru and there’s this black man that stopped a white car and he has a gun and has a baby in his arms. He stopped the white car in the street, and he has a baby in his arms, and he has a gun.’
Officers arrived within one minute of the 911 call and reported they observed Bolden firing his gun while holding the baby. Body camera video shows officers drawing weapons, and one officer can be heard radioing, “He has a kid hostage right now. He has a gun. One gunshot already.”
The officer can be heard on the video telling Bolden to put the baby down as two other officers arrived. Officers told Bolden to drop his gun, but he refused. One of the arriving officers uses a police vehicle door to steady the aim of his rifle toward Bolden. The officer fired one shot, striking Bolden in the head.
The officer later said that he fired because the man had placed his gun to the baby’s head and was also pointing the firearm at other bystanders. A critical incident briefing issued by the Phoenix police said:
“Officers told the suspect to drop the gun and he refused. Two other officers arrived to help. An officer armed with his city-issued rifle shot at the suspect when he saw the suspect point the gun at the baby and others.”
Officers can be seen on video running over to the man, and one officer picks up the baby and runs away from the scene. One officer can be seen taking the child to a police vehicle and consoling him while checking for any injuries. The officer can be heard on video talking to the child to calm him:
“Hi buddy, hey buddy, are you okay?” Hi, bud. I know?”
Bolden was transported to a local hospital where he later died, according to the Phoenix Fire Department.
The baby suffered sore ears, but no other injuries. No officers were injured, and some bystanders suffered only minor injuries, according to authorities. Police reported:
“There were no injuries to officers or any serious injuries to community members. The gunfire from Bolden struck nearby businesses.”
The officer who fired the shot has been with the Phoenix Police Department for four years. He is assigned to the Mountain View Precinct.
Police have identified the woman who was fighting with Bolden as his girlfriend, and police confirmed the baby was his son.
The shooting is being reviewed by the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, as is normal procedure following a fatal police shooting.
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Off-duty police officer kicks down door, saves family from house fire
December 10, 2020
NORTH READING, MA – An off-duty police officer with the North Reading Police Department jumped into action and did what brave first responders do, no matter what.
Sergeant Thomas Encarnacao was driving home from his swing shift at around 1:00 a.m. on December 8th when he saw flames coming from the side of a house at 30 Lowell Street.
Sgt Encarnacao radioed in his location to police and fire dispatch and ran to the front of the home. He kicked down the front door and rescued a man who was sleeping on a couch in the home’s living room.
Audio of Encarnacao’s call released by police captured the urgency of the moment:
“There are people in the house! I’m trying to wake them up!”
Donald W. Stats Jr., North Reading Fire Chief stated:
“Smoke alarms did activate and the occupant did hear it. But (the occupant) thought it was something else and basically ignored it initially — until the officer was able to reach them.”
Several other officers arrived on scene and helped Sgt Encarnacao find another man in the home’s basement. They verbally alerted the man, but couldn’t see him due to smoke. The man made his way up from the basement and out of the home.
Chief Stats said arriving firefighters saw:
“a heavy volume of fire on arrival coming from the left side of the structure that had self-vented and started to extend to the attic.”
The two residents told firefighters a 13-year-old boy was sleeping in the back bedroom. Police and firefighters were able to remove a window screen in the bedroom and pull him out through the window to safety.
Chief Stats explained that the fire crew was able to put out the fire before it damaged more of the home and attic area.
In addition to North Reading police officers and firefighters, fire crews from Wilmington assisted at the scene and the Middleton Fire Department provided station coverage.
All three residents were evaluated at the scene, but were not taken to the hospital and no firefighters were injured. One police officer cut his hand while trying to breach a basement window.
Chief Stats indicated that the scene was cleared by 3:30 a.m.
The three residents were displaced and are being helped by family members. The house sustained smoke, fire, and water damage, according to the statement. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
In a formal press conference on Tuesday, Sergeant Encarnacao told NBC 10 Boston:
“I saw the left hand side of the house was fully engulfed in flames.
I was able to bang on the door, got no response, there was quite a bit of smoke and flames coming up the side so I just decided to force entry.
I was able to get him, once he got his bearings, to come to me and exit the house.”
Encarnacao said they double checked to see if there was anyone else in the house. That’s when he said that the father realized his juvenile son was still inside the house and tried to run back inside.
Encarnacao pulled the child out of a window with the help of two other officers.
No one was hurt, and Encarnacao says he’s grateful his training prepared him for this:
“You plan for this your entire career. Especially those of us who work nights and overnights you may at four in the morning just find a house on fire.
When we finally made contact and knew people were there, we knew we had to do whatever we had to do to get them out.”
Great job, Sergeant Encarnacao!
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