Phoenix, AZ – Phoenix police on Tuesday released bodycam video from a shooting that occurred when a suspect wanted on suspicion of kidnapping, sodomy, and sexual battery charges pulled a gun on police officers (video below).
The incident occurred just before 2:30 p.m. on Oct. 27 after Phoenix police officers on patrol stopped to assist a disabled vehicle with its hazard lights on near East Pine Street and North Harvard Avenue, KTUL reported.
The woman sitting in the disabled SUV told police she was just having car trouble and her ex-boyfriend had gone to get a part.
“She said she was experiencing problems with her wheels, a lug nut had fallen off,” Tulsa Police Sergeant Shane Tuell told KTUL. “She said her ex-boyfriend had gone to get something to fix it, and he was on his way back.”
Bodycam video showed the officer told the woman that he had spotted drug paraphernalia in her vehicle and she told them it belonged to her ex-boyfriend, 50-year-old Luis Arreguin-Lara, KOTV reported.
The officer told the woman that she was being detained while he searched her vehicle and then put her in handcuffs, the video showed.
The video showed the officer found a number of glass pipes in the SUV when he conducted a brief search.
A few minutes later, Arreguin-Lara rolled up on a bicycle, carrying a tire iron.
One of the officers asked Arreguin-Lara to get off the bike and put down the tire iron, and at first the video showed it appeared he would comply
Then all of a sudden, he turned to the right and reached, and when he turned back toward officers, he held a pistol in his right hand.
“He turned his right hip sideways to get his hip away from the officers and began digging at his hip, and that was a key indicator to the officers he may have a weapon, and sure enough, he did,” Sgt. Tuell told KTUL.
Three officers opened fire on Arreguin-Lara and he died at the scene, KOTV reported.
Bodycam video showed more than one of the officers told supervisors at the scene that they believed the suspect had only managed to get off one shot before they neutralized him.
Whether that was actually the case has yet to be determined, but Sgt. Tuell said it shouldn’t matter, KTUL reported.
“But ultimately, when you produce a firearm in the manner that he did, it was very threatening. They felt like, at the very minimum, their lives were in danger and [they] had to make that quick decision,” the sergeant explained.
At the time of his death, Arreguin-Lara was wanted on felony warrants stemming from an incident where he allegedly kidnapped a woman and took her to a storage unit where he brutally raped her, KOTV reported.
Court records showed that he left his victim locked in the storage unit and used his car to block the door and trap her.
According to an affidavit, Arreguin-Lara’s wife found the woman being held hostage and helped her escape, KOTV reported.
All three officers who fired at Arreguin-Lara have been returned to active duty since the shooting.
The district attorney’s office is still investigating and will make the final determination as to whether the officer-involved shooting should be considered justified, KOTV reported.
Watch the incident unfold in the video below: