PHOENIX, AZ – According to reports, a 31-year-old man in Phoenix was fatally shot following a confrontation where the decedent produced an airsoft gun and pointed it at another individual who happened to be armed with a genuine firearm.
The incident reportedly occurred on May 8th at approximately 5:00 a.m. at a QuikTrip located near Black Canyon Highway and Camelback Road. When Phoenix Police arrived on the scene, they happened upon a 31-year-old male gunshot wound victim, later identified as Sergio Cruz.
First responders immediately began rendering first aid until EMS arrived on the scene and transported Cruz to an area hospital. However, Cruz was later declared deceased after arriving at the hospital.
With respect to the shooting incident, investigators determined that the deceased had confronted another male at the QuikTrip regarding some sort of pre-existing conflict between the individual and a loved one of Cruz’s.
During the confrontation, Cruz pulled out an airsoft gun and aimed it at the individual, to which the individual produced a real firearm and shot Cruz in the chest.
Phoenix Police Sgt. Philip Krynsky confirmed the investigation is still ongoing, telling reporters, “Investigators responded to the scene to gather evidence, talk with witnesses and look for possible surveillance. The investigation remains active. No arrests have been made at this time.”
The identity of the alleged shooter has not been revealed by officials, although police say he has been fully cooperating with authorities throughout the investigation.
Fatal shootings involving fake, or replica firearms are certainly nothing new, and often wind up cropping up during police interactions with suspects.
This past February, an incident involving a 25-year-old suspect and Tucson Police resulted in the suspect being non-fatally shot by an officer after pointing a replica firearm at police.
The Tucson incident occurred on February 3rd after police were called out regarding a man allegedly pointing a gun at numerous vehicles and bystanders – to include children – in the area of Prince and Romero Road.
Once officers arrived on the scene, they encountered a man later identified as 25-year-old Kevin Angelo Lyons, who was still in possession of the replica firearm. Officers at the time were oblivious to the firearm being a replica and had ordered Lyons to drop the weapon multiple times. However, Lyons allegedly was noncompliant with said orders and pointed the firearm at officers.
One of the officers, identified as 20-year Tucson Police veteran Benjamin Boschee, shot the suspect in response to the faux firearm being pointed at officers. While seriously injured during the incident, Lyons’ sustained gunshot wound was non-life threatening and he was transported to an area hospital.
On February 5th, Lyons was released from the hospital and booked into the Pima County Jail, where he’s currently facing five counts of aggravated assault with a simulated deadly weapon, one count of aggravated assault on a juvenile, and one count of aggravated assault on an officer.