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Security officer shot in drive-by while guarding federal courthouse in Phoenix

A security officer contracted by the U.S. Marshal Service was wounded in a drive-by shooting Tuesday while guarding the Sandra Day O’Connor Federal Courthouse in downtown Phoenix.

The officer was transported to a hospital for treatment of injuries that were not life threatening, and a manhunt was launched to find the gunman. A suspect was apprehended within hours.

What are the details?

The Phoenix Police Department sent out an alert that there was a shooting outside the courthouse and that non-life threatening injuries were sustained. The department provided a picture of the vehicle authorities are searching for in connection with the shooting.

Brahm Resnik of
KPNX-TV reported a short time later that “US Marshal David Gonzales confirms to #12News that [a] courthouse security guard was hit in his bulletproof vest & he will be OK.”

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He added that the FBI is “now handling investigation of shooting of federal employee.”

Resnik reported that the FBI announced a suspect was arrested three hours after the 11:30 a.m. drive-by shooting. He noted that the security officer’s “bulletproof vest saved him,” and that the wounded officer had “returned fire after he was shot.”

KNXV-TV reported that “FBI spokeswoman Jill McCabe said an individual has been detained in connection with the incident, and it remains an ongoing investigation for their office. She went on to say, ‘there is no information to suggest there is a continued threat to public safety.'”

The FBI is urging anyone with information on the assault to contact Silent Witness at 480-948-6377.

Some initial reports claimed that the wounded security officer was actually a U.S. marshal, but KTAR-TV clarified that the victim was actually contracted through the U.S. Marshal Service to guard the federal courthouse.

Anything else?

The shooting of the officer in Phoenix comes just days after two Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies were both hospitalized in critical condition after being ambushed while sitting in their patrol vehicle in Compton. The suspect in that shooting also remains at large, and is described as a black male around 28 to 30 years old.

The department is offering a $100,000 reward for information on the shooting, and private donors have put up another $75,000. Anyone with information is asked to call the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500.

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