Suspect dead, officer wounded in Arizona Wal-Mart brawl

AP News
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Posted: Mar 22, 2015 10:07 PM

COTTONWOOD, Ariz. (AP) — An overnight brawl in an Arizona Wal-Mart parking lot has left one person dead and two others wounded, including a police officer who was shot in the leg.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety said a Cottonwood police officer was shot just before midnight Sunday as he and a group of officers tried to break up the melee.

The incident began when a Wal-Mart employee noticed that a large group of people were in one of the store's restrooms, department spokesman Bart Graves said. The employee was shoved by one of the suspects when she tried to enter, he said.

By the time Cottonwood police arrived, the group had made its way to the parking lot. Officers were immediately attacked and there was a struggle for an officer's gun, Graves said.

One suspect was fatally shot, a second suspect was shot in the abdomen and a Wal-Mart employee also suffered cuts on his arm. The wounded 31-year-old officer underwent surgery and was expected to recover.

There were a total of three gunshots, and it was still unclear Sunday night who fired the shots, Graves said. Seven officers suffered minor injuries including lacerations and bruising.

Seven suspects were taken into custody and were later booked on charges that included aggravated assault, attempted homicide and obstruction, Graves said.

It was unclear if everyone in the group was part of the same family. The department said in a statement that they were driving a Chevrolet Suburban with an Idaho license plate.

"We don't know who they are at this point," Graves said. "They are not cooperating."