Phoenix, AZ (KPHO/KTVK) — Three Phoenix police officers are recovering after a car deliberately plowed into them at a QuikTrip near 25th Avenue and Camelback Road early Tuesday morning.
And now, we are seeing the video of what police are calling an “intentional” attack.
In a news conference Tuesday afternoon, Phoenix police chief Joe Yahner had strong words about the direct assault on his officers.
“They were victims of an unprovoked, violent, intentional attack,” he said. “These officers could have easily been killed, and I thank God we’re not planning three funerals right now.”
Investigators said the officers were standing in the parking lot around 2 a.m. when the male driver hit them, struck a police car and crashed through the front of the store.
Two officers were transported to a hospital with serious injuries but are expected to be OK. The third officer was able to jump out of the way but sustained some injuries during a struggle with the driver during the arrest.
A sergeant with 18 years experience suffered a broken leg. An officer with 8 years of experience suffered a minor injury. And an officer who just graduated from the police academy suffered a head injury. It was his first day on the street with his newly assigned squad.
“We are confident this was an intentional act,” said Yahner. “It’s not acceptable.”
The driver of the car was also taken to a hospital. He has been identified as Marc Laquon Payne. He was booked into jail on Tuesday evening.
Chief Yahner says Payne, 44, will face three charges of attempted first-degree murder, and two counts of aggravated assault.
Yahner also released a QT security video that actually shows the suspect car slamming into the officers in front of the store.
“I am outraged by this incident,” said Yahner. “Our Phoenix police officers were targeted. We have all heard about officers being targeted and ambushed across this nation. But this happened here. This happened in Phoenix. This happened to your Phoenix police officers.”
On Tuesday, Mayor Greg Stanton released the following statement regarding an early-morning attack on three Phoenix Police officers:
“Earlier this morning I spoke with two of the three officers injured during last night’s horrific incident outside a Phoenix convenience store. I thanked them for their valor and wished them a speedy recovery. Both indicated that the rookie officer, who was working his first full day on the job and was seriously injured, acted heroically. Watching the video and seeing the quick action they took to avoid any loss of life was a stark reminder to thank officers for the bravery they demonstrate every single day. I also spoke with Chief Yahner and I know that he is doing everything he can to ensure the safety of our officers. Our thoughts are with every officer on the street today working to keep our city safe.”