Bounty hunter witnesses police shooting of fugitive

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Bounty hunter witnesses police shooting of fugitive

CREATED Apr 18, 2012

Reporter: Claire Doan
Web Producer: Chuck Meyer

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) – A fugitive dead, possibly another one on the run, and others in custody after an officer-involved shooting on the eastside of Tucson. The tense confrontation happened shortly after 6p.m. Tuesday evening near 22nd Street and Craycroft.

Police have identified the fugitive who died as 26-year-old Colbe Kendrick.

Bounty hunters were zeroing in on armed fugitives as they called in police for back-up. They ended up at the Walmart Neighborhood Market, where a man ran into the store. Bounty hunter Frank Arvizu and another bail bondsman confronted the three people in the car, including the armed driver.

“We drew our weapons and told him to get out of the vehicle. We recovered multiple weapons out of the vehicle,” Arvizu told 9 On Your Side. Arvizu then went into Walmart, where a loss prevention officer told him the fugitive was hiding behind near the shipping containers in the store.

When police arrived, he told them where the man was hiding and went to watch it unfold on security cameras. But he soon realized that officers did not know they were going straight toward the fugitive – and warned them through a window, moments before the fugitive appears.

“The fugitive comes out from behind a dumpster or a van and he has a gun on his right hand and he’s crouching from one end to the other,” Arvizu said. “When he’s done crouching, he raises the weapon. The weapon comes up … and at that time I saw his body go back twice and collapse down.”

Police shot the man at least once; they have not said whether he fired at officers. Arvizu said he posed a danger to police officers. The fugitive died at the hospital moments later.

“We always assume [fugitives] are dangerous because they are on the run, but this is a rarity. This is the first time in my bounty-hunting career that actually turned into a shooting.

Arvizo told KGUN9 News that the fugitive’s brother – also wanted – got away before they got to Walmart; both are wanted on drug charges. Police tell us there was also an arrest warrant out for at least one of the three people in the car, but have not released the names of those involved.

The officer who shot the fugitive was 12-veteran Jayson Thompson.

As with all officer-involved shootings, along with the criminal investigation, the TPD’s Office of Internal Affairs is also conducting a review to determine whether police followed protocol.