Shooting scene where two Phoenix police officers were shot. (Source: CBS 5 News)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -
The chaos all unfolded in the middle of the day, and many people were nearby when the unthinkable happened. Neighbors tell us it all happened so fast, they didn't even realize the firefight was between a fugitive and two police officers.
"All of a sudden it was just like, ‘Boom, boom, boom,' right after another," said Samantha Wheeler, who lives a block away from the crime scene.
"You wouldn't even think stuff like that would happen in America, it was like, ‘Pop, pop, pop,'" said Wayne Monton, who owns a shoe store across the street from the intersection.
People who live and work in the area were shaken up over the events that led to such a tragic day for the Phoenix Police Department and the community.
"Our officers are very important to us, and when something like this happens, it hurts us," said neighborhood watch member Jeannie Killenbeck.
Folks we talked to said they saw the car crash in the middle of the intersection at 43rd Avenue and Bethany Home, and some even had to get out of the way and duck for cover.
"It was really fast, me and the other woman standing at the bus stop jumped around the other side of the bus stop," said witness Killian McKeown.
"I wanted to be the side of caution and get out of the way because I didn't know what else was going to happen," Monton said.
That collision happened just moments before the fugitive - now dead - opened fire, shooting two of Phoenix's finest.
"We saw the confusion, commotion, chaos, people running around," Monton said. "People were kind of in shock, stunned, looking in disbelief. No one could believe this was happening, I couldn't believe it was happening."
He said he saw an officer pointing a rifle toward the intersection and realized he was in the middle of a firefight. It would take several moments for him to realize the victims were officers.
"It's just a shame, it's a shame," Monton said.
Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
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