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Phoenix police officer killed in shootout

Investigators gather at the scene in Phoenix where a police officer was fatally shot and another was critically wounded. KPHO-TV

PHOENIX - A Phoenix police officer was shot and killed and another one was in critical condition following a gunbattle with a fugitive near a busy intersection Monday afternoon, CBS affiliate KPHO reported.

The officer, who was not identified, died at St. Joseph's Hospital a few hours after the shootout, said Phoenix police Chief Daniel Garcia. Choking with emotion, Garcia said the officer had been with the department for 21 years.

Garcia said the other officer, who has been on the force for nine years, is "fighting for his life."

The chief called it "a tragic and violent day for the city of Phoenix and the Phoenix Police Department."

"I ask the citizens of Phoenix to keep both families and officers in their prayers," Garcia told reporters.

The name of the suspect, who was shot and killed, has not been released.

Phoenix police Sgt. Steve Martos said the two officers on fugitive apprehension detail were pursuing a suspect wanted on a felony warrant at about 3:20 p.m.

The suspect, realizing he was being followed, collided with several other vehicles at 43rd Avenue and Bethany Home Road, Martos said. Two people were injured in the crash - a 50-year-old man and an 83-year-old woman.

"After the collision, the suspect fled on foot around a building," Martos said.

The officers got out of their car and chased the suspect into the parking lot near the TitleMax. The suspect started shooting at the two officers, Martos said.

A third undercover officer with the fugitive apprehension squad appeared on the scene and heard gunshots.

The officer saw the suspect shooting at the two other officers, Martos said. The third officer shot the suspect, according to Martos.

"These particular detectives are some of the best detectives that we have," Martos said. "Their job is to look for and arrest felony individuals, people who are wanted for violent offenses. They have a lot of tactical knowledge. It is an inherently dangerous job for officers."

CBS 5 News spoke with a woman who was nearby.

"We were just right by the door and all of a sudden it was just like, 'Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom,'" the unidentified woman said.

Martos said police are not searching for any other suspects.

The scene is roped off with crime tape.

The intersection will remain closed for hours, police said. Officers urged motorists to avoid the area.

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton tweeted, "Nicole and I and the entire City of Phoenix family are praying hard for our two police officers and their families."

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