Phoenix, AZ – A homegrown violent extremist demonstrating his allegiance to the Islamic State was shot after he charged a deputy with a knife (video below).
During a press conference on Thursday, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) released bodycam footage and recordings of 911 calls that the suspect, 18-year-old Ismail Hamed, placed just before the Jan. 7 attack.
“Hi. My name is Ismail Hamed. I Live in Fountain Hills,” the suspect said in one of the recordings. “I’m owing my allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria… I just want a cop to come real quick and I want to deal with him.”
Hamed calmly told the 911 operator that he was waiting at town hall, and that he would “like to see cops” at his location.
“I’d like to do something in protest for the people suffering in Palestine and in the Middle East,” he declared.
Hamed said he wanted to speak with the deputies about these concerns, so that he could “see what solutions they come up with.”
He politely answered all of the operator’s questions, and at one point even asked the operator to hold for a moment so he could look up his cell phone number for him.
“Do you have any weapons on you?” the 911 operator asked Hamed.
He paused briefly, then admitted he was armed.
“Yes. I have a couple rocks and a knife,” Hamed replied.
Hamed was calling from the area outside the MCSO Fountain Hills substation, Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone explained during the press conference.
MCSO Sergeant Brandon Wells was heading to his vehicle to gather information about Hamed’s call to 911, when he encountered the suspect in the parking lot at approximately 5:35 p.m., Sheriff Penzone said.
“Alright, what’s up?” he asked Hamed as he stepped out of the patrol vehicle, bodycam footage showed.
Hamed told him he wanted to discuss some “political issues,” and briefly voiced his concerns.
After listening to what he had to say, Sgt. Wells asked Hamed where he lives and if he had his ID with him.
Hamed reached towards his back pocket as if he was retrieving his identification, then hurled at least one rock at the sergeant.
“Hey! Back off,” Sgt. Wells ordered, drawing his weapon.
Hamed shuffled backwards and squared off with the deputy, who immediately provided an update about the situation over his radio.
“Back off,” Sgt. Wells ordered again, as Hamed marched towards him with a knife in his hand. “Drop it, right now. Drop it. Drop the knife.”
The sergeant steadily backed away, and warned Hamed that he would be shot if he continued to advance on him.
“Shoot me,” Hamed said several times.
“Drop the knife!” Sgt. Wells ordered again, just as Hamed closed in on him.
The sergeant then fired two rounds at Hamed’s chest, and the knife-wielding suspect immediately collapsed onto the pavement and tossed his weapon away.
“Do you need any help?” a bystander yelled to the sergeant.
“No, I’m okay,” Sgt. Wells responded calmly. “He just tried to stab me.”
Hamed survived his wounds, and has been charged with terrorism and aggravated assault, The Arizona Republic reported.
According to court documents, Hamed “intentionally or knowingly did provide advice, assistance, direction or management” to terrorist organizations, but investigators have not released details regarding his alleged terrorist affiliations.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has been assisting the MCSO with the ongoing investigation, but it is unclear whether or not Hamed may face federal charges.
You can watch bodycam footage of Sgt. Wells’ encounter with Hamed in the video below: