Two police officers are recovering from their injuries after they were shot during a routine call to an Arizona Walmart on Saturday morning.
According to AZ Central, the shooter has been identified as 24-year-old Mitchell Oakley, who was shot dead in the altercation. It reportedly all started around 6:20 am, when an employee called police saying Oakley was in the store with a gun. He opened fire as soon as officers walked in.
“When the first officer walked into the store, the suspect began firing at the officer immediately,” Tyler said, going on to say that he didn’t know how many shots were fired. “You can call it what you want. It sounds like an ambush to me.”
One of the officers was shot in the face, but both were wearing bulletproof vests. A civilian stepped in to aid the officers, one of the many heroic actions that day. One of the officers was released from the hospital on Saturday afternoon, and the other is still in intensive care. Chandler Police Chief Sean Duggan declined to identify the officers, but he did say they were both relatively new to the force.
“This morning’s incident is yet another example of how dangerous the profession of policing can be — a seemingly routine call turned into a deadly encounter in a split second,” Duggan told reporters Saturday afternoon.
Chandler Mayor Jay Tibshraeny visited both officers in the hospital and publicly praised them for their heroism.
“Our officers responded to what some may call a routine call, even though we realize there is no such thing as a routine call,” he said. “I can’t begin to express how proud I am of our officers. They acted heroically. They relied on their training, their experience, on their equipment, and they relied on each other to survive this deadly encounter.”
Oakley was a convicted felon with a long criminal history that included various assault and drug charges.
Please keep the officers in your thoughts and prayers as they continue to recover from their injuries.