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Departments : Shots Fired

Shots Fired: Scottsdale, Arizona 04/23/2006

Det. James Peters acted immediately and decisively to end a barricade incident before it could spiral out of control.

September 27, 2010  |  by - Also by this author

Play PodcastPlay Shots Fired Podcast

After a near-shootout at a gas station and vehicle pursuit, the suspect stormed into a grocery store and held a hostage at gunpoint.

The events that culminated with Det. James Peters saving one man's life while taking another's began to unfold after midnight on April 23, 2006, well before Peters became involved.

It started quietly enough. A Peoria, Ariz., police officer came across a disabled BMW being pushed by Daniel Brown near the 101 Loop. Turning on his rotators, the officer cruised slowly behind Brown in his patrol car so as to block traffic and give the man a safe corridor in which to move the stalled car.

Most stranded motorists would have been satisfied with that, but the 38-year-old Brown wanted the officer to use the push bumper of his patrol car to move the disabled vehicle off the roadway.

The Peoria officer told Brown that he couldn't do that as he'd be putting himself in the position of many similarly well-intentioned officers who'd gone on to pay the price for alleged damages thereafter, and so Brown put his broad shoulder back to the BMW.

Finally getting the car off the roadway, Brown waved at the officer who turned off his rotators and started to drive away, but not before running the license plate of the BMW. Seconds later, Peoria Dispatch informed the officer that the license plate returned stolen.

AUDIO: Listen to dispatch traffic between officers and airborne units who were pursuing Brown.

Guns Drawn

The officer made a U-turn and re-contacted Brown, this time with the intent of arresting him. A scuffle ensued with the officer taking Brown's legs out from under him. Upended like a turtle and finding the officer standing over him, Brown suddenly produced a handgun from his waistband. However, the Peoria officer was no less quick on the draw and a short standoff ensued.

"You don't want to do this," Brown pleaded as he started backpedaling up the street. "I have a kid."

But it wasn't parental empathy that kept the Peoria police officer's trigger finger in check. It was a crowded gas station behind Brown.

Brown turned and ran toward the gas station, attempting to take car keys from patrons as they fled the mart area of the station.

By now, other officers descended on the scene and two of Peoria's finest approached the front of the store in plainclothes in a bid to locate Brown.

In the meantime, Brown escaped through the back door of the store and doubled back around to the front. Hearing commotion in front of the gas station, the two officers turned to investigate.

As they did, Brown raised his gun at them and pulled the trigger.


Brown hadn't realized that as he ran out the back door, he hit the magazine release on his gun and dropped his magazine. The magazine disconnect on his semi-automatic prevented him from firing any rounds-despite there being a round in the chamber.


Brown ran to the opposite side of the gas station where he found a Krispy Kreme truck with its doors open and tailgate fully lowered. He jumped into the passenger side of the truck and jabbed his gun at its driver.


Brown's hostage punched the gas pedal and the truck exited the parking lot just as the Peoria police units pulled in.

As the Krispy Kreme van drove along Thunderbird Road, Brown prodded the driver at gunpoint and told him to jump out of the moving vehicle.

The man didn't hesitate.

With the delivery driver out of the truck and out of the way, Brown assumed control of the vehicle, leading Peoria PD, Arizona Highway Patrol, Phoenix PD, and Maricopa County Sheriff's officers on a 40-mile pursuit that was monitored by a Phoenix PD helicopter and videotaped by a Department of Public Safety helicopter.

Throughout the pursuit, there were multiple attempts to deploy spike strips, without success, and Brown continued eastbound on Highway 101 toward Scottsdale at high speeds.

PHOTOS: See images from the crime scene.

Comments (3)

Displaying 1 - 3 of 3

Charles Wade @ 2/15/2011 11:59 PM

I read every word, looked at every picture, and watched the video. I know a child who is suffering because he lost his dad, but this sight and these pics are gonna leave a lasting scar. While I applaud the officer for protecting the public and risking his life, I cannot help wondering why an innocent child would have to see his dad that way, which only causes more pain. Please remove this, for Zach's sake, the ripples reach out over the internet and continue to cause pain.



Jenna @ 4/5/2011 3:03 PM

Concerned I'm not sure who you are or how you know my uncle. but thank you so much for your comment. I completely agree with you... and I would love to know who you are...

Melannie @ 10/1/2012 7:07 AM

Thank you chArles wade for ur comment and concern about zac!! And to the pictures posted, I am the boys mother, I don't stand behind crime and it is unfortunate that Dan Brown couldn't steer clear of it!! But as for my son Zachary Robert Brown, he was only 6 years old when peters took dans life! He didn't ever know if his dad criminal life! I tried to keep it away from him but these pictures have scared him for life!! I am asking if u would please remove or even sensor them for his sake!! I know u probly won't due to the officers achievements (if u wan to call it that) to remove them so u can honor the officer, but this little boy is the concern now!! He has to make it through life with out a father and doesn't appreciate these pictureS! So to officer Peters if u have any children and u know what they have to overcome to have a successful life!! Please remove these pictures of Zachary's father, the man u shot!!

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