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Ariz. Cop Shoots, Kills Man Who Endangered Baby

February 16, 2012  | 

Scottsdale, Ariz., man John Loxas, 50, was fatally shot after endangering his grandson. Photo: Facebook
Scottsdale, Ariz., man John Loxas, 50, was fatally shot after endangering his grandson. Photo: Facebook

The veteran Scottsdale (Ariz.) Police officer who fatally shot a man holding his infant grandson on Tuesday has been involved in seven officer-involved shootings since 2002.

Officer James Peters ended a standoff with John Loxas, who had threatened two people with a pistol earlier in the day.

A neighbor called 911 at about 6 p.m. Tuesday to report that a man—later identified as Loxas—had pointed a pistol at her roommate and a male friend. Loxas, 50, had threatened to kill them and was "behaving erratically," Scottsdale PD's Sgt. Mark Clark told POLICE Magazine.

"The terrifying part of all of this is that he had a 9-month-old baby in his arms while he was doing this," said Clark, the agency's spokesman.

An initial officer responding to the house near 77th and Garfield streets confronted Loxas and ordered him to come to him with his hands showing. Loxas retreated back into the house with the infant. Additional patrol officers arrived, and the on-scene sergeant formed a crisis entry team that called for Loxas to come out of the house.

Loxas opened his front door and stood in the open doorway while holding the baby in front of his face. Two officers reported seeing a dark object. When he lowered the infant, Officer James Peters fired a .223 round from his AR-15 patrol rifle, striking Loxas in the head and ending the stand-off.

"He was verbally non-compliant and had been since they got there," Clark said. "He reached down to his right. As he did so, he lowered the infant to where his head was exposed to the officers. Officer Peters, fearing for the safety of the child, fired one shot."

Loxas, who was unarmed, died at the scene. Following the stand-off, investigators found a cell phone in Loxas' hand. Inside the house, officers found a loaded, .45 semi-auto pistol several feet from Loxas, as well as a loaded 12-gauge shotgun, and improvised explosive device. The agency's bomb squad arrived to remove the IED—a tube with black powder, ball bearings, and a fuse.

On his Facebook page, Loxas claimed he was running for President and posted references to Jesus Christ and Ron Paul.

As is routine for an OIS, Officer Peters has been placed on administrative leave during the internal investigation.

Officer Peters, a 12-year veteran with the agency, has been involved in seven shootings since 2002. Six of those have been fatal. The earlier shootings have been investigated by the county attorney's office and ruled justifiable.

POLICE Magazine profiled Officer Peters' 2006 officer-involved shooting in "Shots Fired: Scottsdale, Arizona 04/23/2006."

By Paul Clinton

Tags: Scottsdale (Ariz.) PD, Officer Involved Shootings, Hostage Situations, Bomb Squads, Deadly Force


Comments (42)

Displaying 1 - 42 of 42

Jerry @ 2/16/2012 4:30 PM

Its great that the public was made safe and no harm came to the infant. What troubles me is the apparent execution of Mr. Loxas who was unarmed (albeit with at least two firearms nearby). Clearly a danger to himself and others (based on the preceding incident with the pistol) it was also clear the he has mental issues. Fatal force MAY have been necessary but this is Officer Peters 7th shooting (6 of which resulted in fatalities to the accused). I find it Extremely troubling that Ofc. Peters has killed 6 people in such a short period of time. The average officer NEVER kills a suspect in their entire career. While these prior killings may have been justified it is abundantly clear that Ofc. Peters has no qualms about his propensity to shoot and kill and shoot and kill and shoot and kill, etc., etc. It will only be a matter of time before Ofc. Peters makes a judgment error an some innocent person will be shot and possibly killed. Time to reassign Ofc. Peters for his safety and the safety of the public. 7 shootings and 6 kills in 9 years is a lot of death. Too much for one officer.

Josh Meszaros @ 2/16/2012 4:44 PM

I completly agree with you Jerry. But, lets say that it was different officer that shot him. It just ended that Ofc. peterson has been in the wrong place too many times. We werent there so it is not our judgement to say he did something wrong.

Mark @ 2/16/2012 4:53 PM

Jerry, I guess the officer should have just left and let the suspect slam the infant to the ground (which I have personally witnessed). Just because the suspect was unarmed does not mean that he could not have killed the infant in several ways (unlike an adult). The mere amount of shootings an officer has does not reflect negatively on the officer unless his tactics caused the shootings to occur, which is NOT indicated anywhere. I am glad that he is willing to take the suspect out, because in my case an officer failed to shoot the suspect, causing the infant to die. If I would have been in a position to shoot and not just arriving in my vehicle, I surely would have shot the suspect prior to watching this horrific sight. Jerry, it is easy to be the critic, but not so easy when you have to make split second decisions. With supporters like you, the police are damned if they do and damned if they don't.

John @ 2/16/2012 5:31 PM

Officer Peters should get a commendation for quick thinking and decisive action. He probably saved that baby and ridded the country of an ass hole! Over 31 years deallng with idiots like this, makes me proud to know we still have pro-acative cops.

Dennis @ 2/16/2012 5:37 PM

Times have changed. It used to be that you could go your whole career without being involved in a shooting. Not today and I bet there are officers out there that have more lethal confrontatons then ever before. My career spanned from 77 to 09 and I had two in a matter of 3 months in the 90's. The violence and lethal confrontations are in an upswing and have been.

B @ 2/16/2012 5:50 PM

Dont you dare talk about "averages". The average officer has an average day on average about once every never. Nothing about this job is average. You shoot to perserve/save life, not to take it. This officer has conincidentally found himself in shoots more often than most. Thats it. Good shoot.

Pete @ 2/16/2012 5:58 PM

Officer Peters will be shot in due time. He is going to draw down on the wrong MF'er with the skill of a old time western quick gun. I for one won't miss Peters or cops like him that cheer this type of actions against the public. 7 shootings with 6 death, I see a pattern that the police force in that community like to over look a obvious quick to shoot loose cannon.

Dennis @ 2/16/2012 6:11 PM

Pete. Obviously you have never worn a badge and don't know what it means to take a life to save a life, which is the only reason we shoot. It's not our choice to pull the trigger, the offender's non-compliance and actions usually determines when we shoot. Officer Peters may have been in more shootings for whatever reason and other officers would not judge his actions, we weren't there and in his shoes. As for 6 fatal shootings in 7 attempts. Good shot at stopping the action. No one's cheering, a baby and neighbors are alive and a cop goes home.

Leonard Mather @ 2/16/2012 6:31 PM

Officer Peter's of 6 kills out of 7 shootings means that he should be required to get to the firing range to increase his skill leve from its curent 85.7% to 100%. He solved a problem that society has extreme difficulty in rectifying. Mental problems, running for president, conferring with Jesus (I am a Clinical Psychologist having worked at the Central State Mental Hospital in Petersburg, VA) would NOT get him committed, as his attorney would prove he is of no danger to himself or others. Loxas would NOT take medication; would NOT go to the Clinic and would continue to bedevil all those around him. Peters solved this by using all the evidence that Loxas presented making him dangerous, threatening, non-compliant, defiant and stupidly using an infant as a shield. Peters is to be commended.

Rod @ 2/16/2012 6:47 PM

Couldn't disagree with Jerry more. So happy that you aren't on the shooting review board or grand jury. Too often, I've heard just such crazy talk. Is it possible that Ofcr Peters has made 7 correct calls? In 12 years? That's roughly 1 every 1.3 years... I know I average far more than that. Officers make life and death calls dozens of times a shift. You have no idea, obviously. That is such a dangerous thing to say. You can't say that Scottsdale only has 10 police shootings per years and one out of 600 officers is involved... and make it about averages or statistics... Some shifts and parts of town are simply more danger prone. Simply put... A justified shooting is a justified shooting. You don't call the number into question when making good decisions... only bad ones. No officer wants to kill someone, but they don't want the blood of an innocent on their hands either. Just think about how quickly an infant could be killed by a crazy man. In less than a second... that's all it takes. Keep protecting the public, Officer Peters!

DanH @ 2/16/2012 6:58 PM

Pete you are a complete idiot this officer has been cleared in all of his shootings and he will be cleared on this one you sound like a liberal fool who is responsible for this countries backslide....

Thomas @ 2/16/2012 7:38 PM

Those with the warrior mindset will find themselves in Warrior situations. We are now training to end the hostage situations before our hostages get killed. Loxas placed himself in this situation and had all the time in the world to end it peacefully.

Pete and Jerry be careful what you wish for. One day you could be a hostage and If I were one I would be praying to god that an Officer showed up took action immediately VS trying to negotiate with a complete mental case who in the end will probably blow my brains out. With that being said Pete and Jerry maybe this just isnt the forum for you guys.

Bob@Az. @ 2/16/2012 8:50 PM

Petey Baby, I don't know how to tell you this but shootings don't start at high noon in the center of the street. There is no building of music in the background and nobody "slaps leather". Officer Peters was in the right, as I'm sure a review board will verify. Not everybody rides thier tour out in la-la land where everything is handled with a kind word and a smile. 30 years ago Scottsdale was a fairly smooth little place. Things change. And his dept. aren't the ones who will investigate., another agency will. Crawl back into to your Starsky & Hutch world. Good shoot Officer Peters.

gp cobb @ 2/16/2012 9:42 PM

Kudos to those that know, sorry for the position of Jerry and Pete. On the last day I don't want them on my side....... I'll error on the side of those here who are really in the know......

Cliff @ 2/16/2012 9:52 PM

It is easy to judge someone and Jerry is obviously non 2nd ammendment friendly. I hope I never have to shoot anyone. I am more concerned that Jerry is not on my review board or jury if I ever have to use a firearm in defense of life. In the world of what if's, how about if that pipe bomb with all the ball berings was thrown out at all the officers present or bullets started flying from within the home. The potential and with the bad guys mindset the bomb was there to injure or kill some innocent party. He who hesitates dies. Good shoot!

Steve @ 2/17/2012 12:35 AM

Jerry,,,who posted your remarks at 430pm on the 16th. We live in a violent world today. I've been on the job at the LASD here in California for 32 years and never have killed anyone nor have I even shot at anyone. I guess I'm lucky. In todays world we sent troops around the world who get in to firefights every day sometimes one trooper kills many people in the desert sands of the middle east and we never question them or how many shootings that they are involved with. It is not for you to make a judgement about this officer. The local D.A has said that the prior shootings along with this one were good and clean. The man did his job. You talk of reassignment? He's a cop. Reassign him to what? He is still carrying a gun no matter where he gets reassigned to. You sound like an administraitor of a department who thinks that reassigning a guy will fix the problem. No Jerry, it's the public who needs fixing. Not the cop.

Bob Springfield @ 2/17/2012 6:41 AM

Good shoot! And if you so-called do gooders believe in the justice system, than take heed that the prosecutor found no fault on the 7 past shootings. If anything he should have had more range time so he would have been 7 for 7! Sounds like the democratic left, using the system when it suits them. As Rod says, wormg place at the wrong time. Reverse the situation placing a different officer at the scene and possibly there would have been 7 dead or wounded cops who did not act as swiftly and decisively as this officer did.

murph @ 2/17/2012 6:52 AM

This story is the only thing I know of Officer Peters. It sounds to me like there was a neighborhood in danger, real danger, and the department had a sharpshooter available. Jerry and Pete, I understand what you see in his numbers, it is just not up to us to judge Officer Peters. Totality of the circumstance, in my opinion, justified the officer's action. Thank you Officer Peters. You have made that neighborhood safer. No doubt.

Charlie @ 2/17/2012 7:34 AM

Jerry post # 1, you are clueless to what is reality......please go back to watching CSI. To Officer Peters, Nice shot!! Thank you for keeping the streets safe and removing one more burden from our society. Stay safe.

Ernie @ 2/17/2012 8:02 AM

What the story did not tell us is officers peters on a set team or swat team? Is he a patrolman or what. Let's face it he does not work in Detroit city or New York. I have been a police officer in Houston, Tx for 19 years and know that this type of things happen to good police officers. Seven shootings in nine years for a patrolman is crazy even in the worst area of Houston or Harris County. I would never second guess another officer decision to use deadly force as I was not there and don't have half the fact of ant of the seven. I would like to know how many of the seven were unarmed and how many were armed, but we don't know this nor do we know any of the facts for this case other then what the media has reported and do we alway trust what they say? This leaves me to say in this case GOOD JOB Officer Peters. The Neighborhood and that baby will be safe because of your dedication to protect and serve. God bless you and I hope that unless you are on a Srt team or swat team that you never face this again!!

Doug @ 2/17/2012 8:39 AM

Oh please. Most of us use too little force, way too late. This is obviously an officer who has put a lot of time and effort into recognizing serious threats to himself and others and improving his perception and response. Several of his shootings were from SWAT calls, which are a smaller very high risk subset of LE encounters anyway.
I know a few officers who have been in multiple shootings and been righteous every time, and heard of others. It is a function of assignment, the calls you get, and being prepared to take necessary action.

commander 10 @ 2/17/2012 12:11 PM

As a higher ranking member with 26yrs of service with a major department and without knowing the details of all the shootings this officer has been involved in and they all as noted have been found justified, I still find the number of shootings extraordinarily high and concerning which would warrant a review of his current assignment.

John Shepard @ 2/17/2012 12:29 PM

Thank God for Officer Peters. Had the cops been the FBI meatheads from NBC's "Criminal Minds" (most stupid cop drama) they would have given the perp 275 chances to kill someone, even the baby before they'd finally shoot the perp in the foot and give him more chances to wound or kill innocent bystanders, even police officers!

Trigger @ 2/17/2012 12:49 PM

I have attended too many funerals of down officers. I know that some of these individuals may have hesitated, second guessed or what ever you want to call it when the idiot had a weapon. We live in a violent society where law enforcement is not rated very popular by many individuals. In my 33 years of working the streets I was very fortunate of not having to shoot someone, however there were many, many time where seconds stood between the idiot complying or me pulling the trigger on both my use of a handgun and a sniper rifle. It troubles me when an officer is questioned as is this individual because he has done his job. In this profession I have known officers who have been in the wrong place at the wrong time on many occassions where a simply dispatch call could have put me or another officer in that situation.

Thor69 @ 2/17/2012 1:54 PM

OMG, Jerry is calling shooting this moron and "execution!" Unarmed??? Someone please give this idiot a badge and a gun and set him in the worst section of Phoenix, AZ. Let's see how long he lasts!

Capt David-retired LA Cou @ 2/17/2012 5:30 PM

I think "Jerry" is either internal affairs or an FBI agent.. As far as I am concerned the number could be 77, or 777. Every shift could be involved in a shooting. Some cops run and hide, some sit and watch, others draw and shoot. If it's a felony involving the life of another, especially an infant, the officer chooses the best call to make.

John Russell @ 2/17/2012 7:44 PM

Sounds like trigger happy POLICEMAN should be immediately transferred to JUAREZ<MEXICO no need for any administrative actions there..but I do doubt any more fatal shootings there ..HUH?

You must pleed for a transfer there ...you wil get all the critical calls you desire?

Dan @ 2/18/2012 5:09 AM

Jerry, unfortunately there seem to be more and more new officers coming out who think like you. Maybe that's why more and more cops are getting killed. Im so happy I retired. I miss the job, but I wouldn't want to ride the beat next to yours.

Mike @ 2/18/2012 8:42 AM

Jerry,

You have the nerve to critize this Warrior (Hero) for doing his job and reacting to the bad guys actions. You make me sick, I really hope that you are not a Cop, and if you are I run into liability scared indiviudals like you everyday. Wow, i can't believe you even posted that. I commend this officer having a tactical mindset and the courage to do what he swore he would. As a matter of fact Jerry, why dont u reach deep down inside and get some of that personal courage. I am still tripping that you posted ur comment.

Jason @ 2/18/2012 12:46 PM

I have to agree that a justifiable shoot is justifiable. We were not there, therefore we cant play arm-chair quarter back. I am glad that the infant and everyone else is safe. Officer Peters thank you for your service and keep on trucking. I would also have to agree that officer Peters has been in situations more than he probably wants to. Please keep in mind you fellow officers; the more you down play and second guess yourself or other officers previous actions, might just get YOURSELF or another person killed.

Thomas J. Nelson @ 2/18/2012 9:35 PM

You did the same thing I would have done thanks for risking your life to keep all of us safe even the dirt bags and scum good men like you are in much need

Phil @ 2/19/2012 2:09 PM

From the first post;
"It will only be a matter of time before Ofc. Peters makes a judgment error an some innocent person will be shot and possibly killed."
The mentally unbalanced guy he murdered under the cover of his badge deserved to die for being stupid? OMG what are you? another brother in blue?

Wayne Strain @ 2/19/2012 5:40 PM

I was a street cop for 13 years and in 1988 i almost pulled the trigger 3 times from March to September that year. Never had to come close for 2 more years. It can and does happen to officers and I believe even more so today. I back officer Peters.

Rob @ 2/19/2012 8:26 PM

The Officer may be the team sharp shooter, so is sent to where he needs to shoot.

Bill @ 2/20/2012 1:00 AM

7 shootings in 12 years, 6 of which were fatal. I don't like coincidence. Scottsdale, Arizona is a very affluent city. Something just doesn't add up. I'm not accusing this guy of being trigger happy, but something seems amiss. What would be happening if every officer in Scottsdale had that record? They would be out of citizens to, "Serve and Protect"!

Marshal C @ 2/20/2012 9:33 AM

Thank you Officer Peters for your quick thinking and good shooting. We are sworn to protect citizens. Even when it means stopping their actions by deadly force. That's what we do. Metro PHX area is very dangerous. God bless you and keep up the great work. Never mind the nutbags that try to judge something they will never face.

Marshal C @ 2/20/2012 9:37 AM

Thank you Officer Peters for your great dedication and shot. Nevermind the nutbags that never have to face what we do. We are sworn to protect citizens, even if it means stopping others by deadly force. That's what we do. God bless you and keep up the great work. Metro PHX is a very dangerous area and needs more officers like you.

Scott L @ 2/20/2012 9:12 PM

Way to go Ofc. Peters! 11:25 from the time of the 9-1-1 call. It would take us that long just to get there! Thank you for not hesitating, or letting ignorant people like Jerry affect your judgement and tactics. You saved a precious little life, and took a seemingly useless one. Congrats on a job well done!!!!

R. G. Montgomery @ 2/23/2012 4:52 AM

We see in people like Jerry and Pete the classic description of sheep who fear the sheep dog. Officer Peters is a man who can deal with the demons of lethal force, who can operate under the burden of actual life and death. Many police officers find this decision difficult and some cannot do it at all. Because Officer Peters can, people like Jerry and Pete fear him.

Of course, what they really fear is the fact they are sheep and will die if they are the ones threatened.

Greg @ 2/23/2012 9:17 AM

Some here seem so concerned over the number of shootings Peters has been involved in. What the article doesn't bother to mention is the fact that Peters serves on the SWAT team and that some of those shootings come from SWAT callouts. It's safe to say Peters is interjected into the most dangerous situations a cop can face, much more so that your average street cop. I can also assure you that all of his shootings are investigated by outside law enforcement agencies and the District Attorney's office. If there were questionable shootings, we would know about it. The media would make sure we would.

Jake @ 4/10/2012 12:10 AM

Sad to see all these posts. None of you were there. Objectively this shooting will be viewed as justified. The intent or motivation of this officer is not the issue. It is the percieved threat. Loxas demonstrated the aptitude, and resolve by commiting multiple felonies. Felonies that directly related to Great Bodily Injury, and/or Death. Those threats were concurrent and relative. Imminent danger is immenent danger. It could have happened at any time. A reasonable officer could easily conclude that the infant was in jeopardy in the Loxas hands. That infant had no choice in the matter. He could not escape. He could not of his own power save himself. His life depended on the brave men, and women that responded to that address to maintain order, and or restore peace. The Balance test remains the same. Was that level of force reasonable in light of the gravity of the offense in question? Some say yes, and some here say no. I know one thing. Thank God an officer made a decision. We are not in the business of protracted decisions. We are in the business of split second decisions. These Decisions are typically second guessed by individuals who have never "pushed" a patrol car, or worked as a law enforcement officer in general. God Bless you officer Peters. My families prayers are with you and yours.

Barry @ 4/20/2012 5:39 PM

I just want to know where my broters body is. Yes I am his real brother and I Love and Miss him very much. Although I am not ignorant and most people will believe what they read and see especially when what they are reading is most definitely not all the facts. Johnny is a good man with his own mind and opinions who doesnt His family just want to know where my brother is. can anyone answer that for me since Scottsdale cant

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