U.S. Marshal shot in drive-by outside federal courthouse in what appears to be a targeted attack

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Phoenix, AZ –  We’re told by sources it was a “target attack”.  

Now a person has been arrested in connection with a U.S. Marshal being shot in a drive by shooting outside of the Sandra Day O’Connor U.S. Courthouse in downtown Phoenix.

The shooting happened on Tuesday afternoon.

The City police said that the officer was rushed to the hospital.

The shooting occurred at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning, according to a statement from Phoenix Police Department spokesperson Sgt. Ann Justus. It was hot in Phoenix, nearly 100 degrees.

A brown UPS truck rumbled down the street and pulled to a stop.

The security officer was ready to check the delivery before it entered into the massive glass Sandra Day O’Connor U.S. Courthouse. 

 

The security officer was either in the process of checking the massive brown truck with the bold gold letters that signified UPS, or he had just finished checking the delivery. He was talking to the driver when three sounds of metal startled both men. The truck driver fell to the ground.  

Mitchell Gallagher, a UPS union representative, explained:

“When he heard the gunshots, he went down to the ground, and he heard them hit his vehicle on the passenger side, but he also saw one of the federal marshals hit the ground and grab his chest.”

The UPS truck driver called Gallagher on the phone. The driver was obviously scared, and he stayed on his stomach.

The bullets didn’t stop at the truck. The officer brought his hands to his chest, as if momentarily stunned, but without blinking, he jumped up and kept firing at the person who shot him.  It was a silver car. The suspect sped away. 

Gallagher said:

“Thank God for the federal marshal had his vest on so we’re very thankful for that.”

 

City Councilman Sal Diccio, who represents District 6, stated the officer was hit by multiple shots. Luckily, he wore a bulletproof vest. Diccio agreed that the U.S. Marshal was able to return fire at the car as it sped away, even after he had been shot.

Di Ciccio said:

“Make no mistake, this is a direct result of the extremist anti-police attacks we have seen from BLM and Antifa across the country. This insanity needs to stop.”

The Phoenix Police Department released a photo of a silver car that was spotted leaving the area. Investigators believe it might have been the suspect’s vehicle. Shortly after sending out that photo the FBI found the suspect.

Sgt. Ann Justus of the Phoenix Police Department said the investigation has been turned over to the Federal Bureau of Investigations.

Justus said:

“One person has been transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.”

DiCiccio said:

“If you didn’t think it could happen here, it just did.”

Police released a photo of a silver sedan spotted leaving the area near 6th Avenue and Washington Street.

They have arrested a suspect shortly after 2 p.m. Washington Street was blocked off from Fourth to Fifth avenues as police and firefighters swarmed the scene.

A large police presence was near 9th and Polk street. The officers located the suspect’s car near Ninth and Polk streets which is a little over a mile northeast.  

The FBI has assured the public that there is no threat to the public in relation to this shooting at this time. In a statement, Jill McCabe with the FBI said:

“There is no further information to suggest there is a continued threat to public safety.”

 

Polk Street was still closed between Ninth and 11th streets after the arrest. This allowed K-9 units to sniff vehicles parked along the road.

Court security officers work under the direction of the U.S. Marshals Service. They are generally employed by private security companies.

There is speculation that this was a targeted assassination attempt on the officer.  The reason is because there wasn’t any preceding situation that was seen on camera or interaction with the officer. 

 

This follows a targeted ambush in Compton, California on Saturday. Two Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department deputies on sat in their parked police vehicle when a man came up to the passenger’s side. He fired multiple rounds.

The two deputies are in critical but stable condition. The gunman for the California shooting has not been captured, and the motive is still unknown.

 

The federal courthouse is located southeast of Seventh Avenue and Van Buren Street.

 

Social media had a lot to say about this breaking news.  On KTAR News 92.3 FM one commenter wrote:

“Bodybag the shooter.”

 On The Right Scoops page someone said:

“There is far too much of this going on recently. Stronger measures need to be taken to protect our police.”

It is clearly evident that violence against police is on the rise. According to the Law Enforcement officers Killed and Assaulted Programas of 09/11/2020:

There were 37 law enforcement officers reported to be feloniously killed. Of these 37, 8 were victims of entrapment or ambushed, and two were victims of unprovoked attacks.  

Thirty-three law enforcement officers have been reported accidentally killed in 2020. During the previous year for the same time period, the number was 29.

The other day, a law enforcement officer in St. Louis was ambushed

What is happening, however, is a clear attack on the justice system. In 2005, Brian Nichols infamously shot up the Atlanta Fulton County Courthouse. He murdered Judge Barnes, a court reporter, and a police officer. The nation was shocked. That was fifteen years ago, and now it’s nothing unfamiliar.

Now, the increase in courthouse shootings have become a common theme with the recent racial tensions within the United States over the Summer of 2020, especially after the horrifying death of George Floyd.

In June, there was the incident outside of the federal courthouse in Oakland. A federal security officer and his partner guarded the building during protests over racial injustice and brutality. The officer was shot and killed. His partner was wounded.

There have been countless demonstrations in Portland, Oregon, where it’s not an unusual sight to see the protestors and federal officers clashing at the federal courthouse.

Anyone with information about the shooting was encouraged to contact the FBI Phoenix at 623-466-1999 or online at tips.fbi.gov.

In the meantime in St. Louis, another officer has been shot in the line of duty.  St. Louis Police Department reports that an officer conducted a traffic stop and was shot in the process. 

Thankfully, this officer will recover.  It has been tough times for the members of the St. Louis Police Department, since May, they have had nine officers shot in the line of duty.  Only one, so far this year, has died.

The violence against police started after the death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota in May of this year.  In this incident, the officer was shot in the shoulder while doing the traffic stop in north St. Louis.

The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department said that the officer was pulling over an older red Impala which had no license plates before 9:30pm. 

The car, instead of pulling over, slowed and then sped off causing the officers to chase it.  As the officers were chasing the vehicle, the people inside began firing upon the pursuing officers, striking one of them in the should near 20th Street and Prairie Avenue.

St. Louis Metropolitan Police Chief John Hayden advised that the gun shot that wounded the officer entered in through his police vehicles windshield and struck him in his right shoulder.  The wounded officer was transported to the Barnes Jewish Hospital and was listed in stable condition.

Hayden advised:

“This is an extremely rough time to be a police officer.  Officers are trying to do their jobs and they’re coming under gunfire.”

The officers continued to search for the vehicle involved after the officer was taken to the hospital.  They did locate it, but the occupants had fled the vehicle prior to police locating it.  This officer is the ninth officer who has been shot in the City of St. Louis since May. 

On July 26th, an officer was shot with a sawed-off shotgun during a call for service and another one was shot on August 2nd by a teenager.  In the incident on August 2nd, an off-duty officer was working a special detail on North 10th Street and Convention Plaza.

The officer was sitting in his marked police vehicle when he noticed two teenagers, a 14-year-old and 16-year-old walking toward his vehicle.  The two juveniles walked away initially and the officer went about what he was doing.  When the officer stopped looking at them, the pair is accused of running toward the car and firing on the officer who sat inside.

The officer was struck in the arm and did not return fire.  Officers descended upon the scene and were able to locate both children and safely take them into custody without further incident. 

These were the first officers who were fired upon in St. Louis, however, St. Louis Officer  Tamarris Bohannon, did not survive his shooting.  Bohannon was shot in the head while responding to a shots fired call and looking for a shooting victim. 

Bohannon was married and had three children.  St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson said, “This is a horrific reminder of the dangers our brave men and women willingly face every day to keep us safe.”

On the 28th, Bohannon and another officer were dispatched to a shots fired call around 6pm near Tower Grove Park.  Upon their arrival, they began looking for a victim while, unbeknownst to them, the shooter had entered into Steve and Mimi Haag’s residence against their will.

Mimi said that they had heard a man yell near the residence just after 5:30pm.  When they looked outside, they noticed the man, who was familiar to them, had what they believed was a bullet wound (graze).  They called police to report the incident and Steve walked outside and noticed the man had a gun.

Hayden said that the suspect shot Bohannan in the head and the second officer in the leg while he was inside the residence.  He then barricaded himself inside as members of SWAT and a hostage negotiations team responded.  

Police sealed off the area and requested homeowners’ shelter in place to avoid any further innocent victims from being harmed. 

Police negotiated with the suspect for several hours, and at some point, fired tear gas into the residence according to the Haag’s and another neighbor.  The man eventually exited the home before 6am and was taken into custody without further incident. 

The police department released a tweet regarding the death of Bohannon, and with it a handwritten note from the officer’s family.  The note read, “It is with great sadness we share the loss of Officer Tamarris “T” Bohannon, affectionately known as “Bo” by his squad of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.

“A three year veteran who was raised & continued to live and raise his family in the city in which he patrolled. 

He is a hero to many but most importantly to his loving wife and three incredible children.  The loss of this great man is felt deeply within the St. Louis community and we ask for your prayers and support in the days ahead.”

In July, St. Louis Chief of Police John Hayden reported on the increasing violent crime in the city and said that running between homicides and protests “is exhausting.”

St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department Chief John Hayden told a local reporter that he has circled June 1st on his calendar, the day that marked the beginning of the violent protests that erupted in the city where retired St. Louis police captain, David Dorn, was shot and killed outside of a St. Louis pawn shop.

It was also the same night that four of the Chief’s own officers were shot.

Hayden said that the unrest began with the protests and that he sees a correlation between the protests and the increase in homicides.

Haden addressed the defund the police movement, saying St. Louis currently has 123 unfilled police positions and he said that what is needed to curb the violence was more officers on the streets, not less.

Hayden said that in all of his years of being an officer, not one person he has talked to in the community has ever demanded less police protection. To the contrary, they are requesting more officers on the streets.

Hayden told local Fox2 Now  that going into the month of June, the city was one homicide under the count from last year. Now, the city has 26 more homicides than this time last year.

Although he cited the protests and lack of officers as the biggest contributor to the increased crime, he said the coronavirus pandemic has left many people financially strapped, leading to shorter fuses.

He also said:

“At least half of the homicide numbers are drug-related and that many are rooted in domestic disputes or personal quarrels between people who know each other.”

Although Hayden didn’t overtly blame the uptick in violence on the civil unrest alone, he did seem to  connect the dots:

“There’s been a big surge where we’re 26 homicides up, year-to-date. This all started six weeks ago.”

Hayden also said his officers are “strapped,” and that morale was down:

“Officers are working 12 hour days and are being stretched emotionally. People are yelling at them and pushing them.”

Hayden called on the community to do more to stem the violence:

“It cannot be a law enforcement piece only. The social services are very helpful. Conflict resolution. We can’t be everywhere every time.”

In a controversial move, St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson outed the names and even addresses of at least 10 of the rioters who were calling to defund the police in a June 29 Facebook live briefing on the coronavirus before coming under fire by the ACLU.

Krewson has since publicly apologized.

The city’s mayor emphatically said she would not support eliminating the police department, saying in June:

“Do we need to review, engage, report and reform? Of course we do, and we will, but we still believe we need police.” 

However, it is unclear whether the mayor will have enough political support to fund the 125 officer vacancies.

Krewson said:

“The way we are going to go, though, is to continue to try to find funds for social services.”

John Chasnoff, co-chair of the group Coalition Against Police Crimes and Repression, insists there is room in the police budget for social programs, suggesting the 130 unfilled positions may be a starting point to siphon funds.

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Much like in other cities around the nation in this current climate, rather than police officers focusing on the community they are being paid to serve, they are being used as political pawns between city officials and groups that want to defund the police.

For example, authorities executed a search warrant at the St. Louis mansion of the couple, Mark and Patricia McCloskey, who defended their home during a Black Lives Matter protest for the firearms that were pictured in a viral video.

The warrant immediately turned political, sparking a fierce national debate over the right of individuals to protect their own lives and property.

The couple’s attorney, Joel Swartz said:

“Under Missouri law, people who are in reasonable apprehension or fear have the right to take necessary steps to defend themselves.”   

Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner issued a statement about the incident saying in part:

“Any attempt to chill (the right to peacefully protest) through intimidation or threat of deadly force will not be tolerated.”

Gardner did not decry the gate that was broken by Black Lives Matter protesters to enter the couple’s private property or the reported threats to the couple.

Nor did she mention the threats of a second attack, to which the police would not respond.

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt said the prosecutor in the case for Mark and Patricia McCloskey has “a record of making politically motivated decisions not based on the law.”

Gardner was criticized during her initial run for circuit attorney in 2016 for accepting at least $30,000 from a super PAC belonging to George Soros, who is actively supporting Black Lives Matter, who call for defunding local police departments.

She has been no friend to police, nor the community, since she took the job, and has repeatedly placed the freedom of offenders above the safety of residents.

Gardner was also caught lying after attempting to sue police regarding a traffic stop of which she was the subject.

Schmitt said:

“Kim Gardner has an abysmal record in prosecuting violent crime, has recently released and been complicit in the release of dozens and dozens of inmates who have been charged with violent crimes, and has a record of making politically motivated decisions not based on the law.”

We would have to agree with Mr. Schmitt there.

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