The Department of Public Safety is investigating an officer-involved shooting in El Mirage that injured a 28-year-old man.
El Mirage police have identified Officer Rick Chairez and Sgt. A.J. VanderWerf as being involved in the shooting that happened just after 6 p.m. Thursday at a home on Alto Street, just south of Wells Street.
Police were called to the house regarding a suicidal man who had fired gunshots into the air.
Investigators say shortly after El Mirage police arrived, Chairez and VanderWerf were forced to open fire on the suspect who was armed with a shotgun.
"I believe he actually pointed the weapon at the officers and threatened the officers with the weapon," said El Mirage police Sgt. Annita Boynton. "They were in fear that they were going to be shot."
Boynton said the suspect, who has had prior run-ins with the law, was hit several times.
He was airlifted to John C. Lincoln Hospital North where he was reported to be in stable condition.
Boynton said Chairez and VanderWerf are on paid administrative leave for three days, which is standard procedure.
Chairez has been with the police department for 15 years and VanderWerf has served the department for six years.
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