Saturday night, just before 8 p.m., Phoenix police officers responded to family argument and an armed suspect at a home in the area of 2800 East Atlanta Avenue. Officers arrived at the home where the people inside said they were fine and did not need assistance. There were no additional calls or signs of emergency at the home at that time.
Three and a half hours later, police responded to a second call at the same home, with similar concerns. The suspect was refusing to allow three family members to leave. It was also reported that the suspect had physically assaulted a 69-year-old woman and was now threatening to shoot the family members.
Officers arrived and approached the home when they heard shots being fired. Concerned with the safety of the family members, Officers tactically approached the home and they were met with gunfire. Officers retreated and attempted a different approach to the residence, but once again they were met by gunfire. Officers from the Special Assignment Unit (SAU) responded to assist. Negotiations with the suspect began and continued for several hours. Over the course of the incident, the suspect fired dozens of rounds inside his home and towards the direction of officers. Some of these rounds also struck an occupied nearby residence.
After repeated requests to have the suspect release the victims, the suspect refused and was observed shooting his gun. SAU officers began to approach the home in order to safely rescue the victims. Gunfire was exchanged with the suspect where the suspect, one officer and two female victims were shot.. The preliminary investigation has revealed that the two female victims were struck by fragments from a single bullet fired by an officer. The projectile went through at least two items prior to striking both victims. The officer shot was hospitalized but is expected to recover from his injuries. A second officer was bitten by our K-9 during the chaos and is also expected to make a full recovery. The third victim, an adult man, was found unharmed. The suspect, 32-year-old Michael Austin, was also shot and was pronounced deceased at the scene.
Below is a timeline of events as we currently understand them. This is a complex and ongoing investigation and information may change as a result.
7:41 p.m. Officers are called to a residence in the area of 2800 E. Atlanta Avenue to check the welfare of the residents. Officers are told that everything is ok by one of the residents.
11:22 p.m. Officers are called to the same residence. Same concerns from the initial call. Family is being held hostage and suspect is armed. The caller believes the elderly victim needs medical attention. Caller indicates the suspect has access to several firearms to include a rifle. Officers arrive on scene and begin gathering information.
12:15 a.m. Officers coordinate tactical approach to the residence. Officers hear shots being fired inside.
12:21 a.m. Shots are fired in the direction of the officers. Officers move to cover.
12:24 a.m. Shots are fired through the walls by the suspect.
12:26 a.m. Officers re-group at the front of the residence.
12:29 a.m. Shots are fired through the walls by the suspect.
12:40 a.m. Negotiations begin.
1:15 a.m. Special Assignment Officers arrive.
1:37 a.m. One shot heard at the front of the residence.
4:39 a.m. Shots are heard and suspect is seen armed. Despite repeated requests to verify that the others in the house are fine, the suspect refused to allow them to speak or leave the home. A tactical plan is made in order to rescue the victims.
5:02 a.m. An SAU officer sees the armed suspect and fires at the suspect as the rescue team approaches the front door.
5:03-5:05 a.m. Suspect walks down the hallway toward the front and shoots at officers. Officers shoot at suspect. Officer is shot. Suspect and two victims are hit by gunfire. Officers enter residence and locate victims to provide medical attention.
In keeping with a commitment to provide greater transparency and accountability, the Phoenix Police Department is releasing the first Critical Incident Briefing from an officer involved shooting that happened on August 27, 2019.
Click the video below to see factual information including 911 calls, body worn camera, surveillance video and still photographs from the shooting that happened on Palm Lane near 36th Street in Phoenix.
Please note, body worn cameras are set to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) which is 7 hours ahead of Arizona.