Phoenix PD releases body camera video showing ambush that injured female officer

Phoenix police officials have released new details regarding a shooting on April 14 who injured a 40-year-old female officer while on duty.

The shooting, which occurred at a convenience store near Cave Creek and Beardsley Roads, injured officer Denise Bruce-Jones. The officer, according to earlier statements by police, was shot at least once in the stomach.

The day after the shooting, a blue alert has been issued for the suspect, identified as Nicholas Cowan, 35. The alert was later canceled and Cowan was arrested following a barricade situation in Scottsdale on April 17.

The barricade situation occurred at a home that we have since learned was operating as an Airbnb. We have contacted the owner of the home for comment, but the owner has yet to respond/

Police release additional details of the case

In a critical incident briefing video posted to the Phoenix Police YouTube page on April 28, officials released 911 call and body camera video surrounding the initial shooting.

“Two officers responded to [the scene] speak with a woman who called the police about her suicidal boyfriend, the 35-year-old suspect,” the video’s narrator read. “The woman told the officer she had come to the station- service to make a report, because she was afraid there would be a violent confrontation between the suspect and the police if they came to the place where the couple was staying.”

“I just drove off in the car. He’s trying to kill himself. I don’t know. He’s going crazy,” the victim said when called to 911.

“OK. We’ll get the cops out,” replied a 911 operator.

“I think if the cops show up there, it’s going to be – it’s not going to be good for – I don’t think it’s going to be okay,” the victim said, in a later part of the call to the 911.

Cowan, officials say, then drove to the gas station where the shooting occurred. At that time, two officers were interviewing the victim.

“Oh my god, that’s him,” was heard in the body camera video taken by Bruce-Jones, as the victim saw the car Cowan was driving.

“The female officer began to approach the suspect’s vehicle when he raised a gun and fired at her, knocking her to the ground,” the video’s narrator said.

“Get out of the–” Bruce-Jone was heard saying, just before shots were fired from the car.

“The officer took cover and returned fire. The suspect then began firing at the officer, missed and rammed a vehicle and the building behind him,” the video’s narrator said.

In body camera video released by police, shots were seen hitting a convenience store window, near where the male officer was returning fire to Cowan.

There is no dash cam video in the case, as Phoenix police do not currently use in-vehicle camera systems.

“The suspect left the scene, abandoned his vehicle and called an associate to come pick him up,” the video’s narrator said.

(Due to graphic content, viewer discretion is advised)

Police moved Cowan from hospital to jail on April 25, but police officials later revealed that Cowan had been taken back to hospital for monitoring.

“During the jail booking process, it was determined that Cowan should return to the hospital for monitoring,” read a statement released by Phoenix Police Sgt. Andy Williams on the morning of April 26. “He was not officially released into the custody of the MCSO before this happened.”

We contacted MCSO officials about Cowan’s condition as of April 28, and they say Cowan is still in the hospital.

Other arrests in connection with the shootings

The police also arrested three other people in connection with the case. Among them is Cowan’s ex-girlfriend Nicole Montalbano, 33. The other two, identified as Michael Hankins, 41, and Caroline Coster, 35, are charged by police with helping Cowan evade authorities between April 14 and April 17.

According to court documents, Hankins admitted to allowing Cowan to stay in his home, before renting and paying for an Airbnb in Scottsdale for Cowan. This Airbnb was where the ensuing barricade happened. Hankins also allegedly purchased Cowan food, as well as a prepaid cell phone.

Hankins also admitted to receiving emergency alerts that Cowan was wanted by police, but said he did not realize it was the same person. Hankins is being held without bond.

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