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Slain Phoenix Officer and Shooter Identified

March 04, 2014  | 

Detective John Hobbs (Photo: Phoenix PD)
Detective John Hobbs (Photo: Phoenix PD)

The man Phoenix police were chasing when a fatal shootout erupted Monday afternoon was a career criminal who was the primary suspect in an attempted murder late last month, Phoenix Police Chief Daniel V Garcia announced at a news conference Tuesday morning.

The Arizona Republic reports Garcia grew emotional as he spoke about the death of Phoenix Detective John Hobbs and the critical injuries another officer suffered. He said the 28-year-old suspect William Ray Thornton must have realized that detectives were following him when he got out of his car and engaged the two veteran officers.

Thornton was released from prison in January after serving a two-year sentence on drug charges and by late February he was identified as the suspect in an attempted murder in which a man was shot in the chest, Garcia said.

Tags: Phoenix PD, Officer Down, Officer Involved Shootings, Fugitives from Justice


Comments (3)

Displaying 1 - 3 of 3

kevcop @ 3/4/2014 5:34 PM

We are all hurting. Thank you brother John for all of your hard work through the years. I was an "old timer" when John came into the South Mt. Pct. He was young, bright and skilled. He was a very hard worker and loved what he did, catch "bad dudes". His family should be proud of how he lived and as sad as it may be proud of how he died, a hero, fighting back to the last second and taking the suspect out. I spent 32 years at Phx. PD and John is an example of the best of the best, never complaining, always working hard and very good at his job. His final actions may have saved other officers and citizens caught in the cross fire from this repeat offender (released JAN this year) from Az DOC and already a suspect in an att-homicide. God Bless you John and we are all praying for your family. John, you humble us all. Thank you for your sacrifice.

S.S. @ 3/5/2014 1:47 PM

God bless and R.I.P. Det. Hobbs. My prayers go out to you, your family, and your family in blue.

Wilson @ 3/6/2014 5:03 AM

End drug prohibition so that police aren't pointlessly risking their lives over fake crimes

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