PHOENIX – Police have identified the man who allegedly shot a Phoenix police officer to death on Wednesday morning.
Danny Martinez, about 30 years old, is accused of killing 29-year-old Travis P. Murphy, who was searching for Martinez who was hiding in a Phoenix neighborhood.
The incident began when officers were reportedly trying to conduct a traffic stop in the area of 19th Avenue and Indian School Road around 1 a.m.
The suspect in the vehicle, a Ford Mustang, eluded officers by apparently turning off the lights.
During this time, the suspect allegedly hit a parked car.
Trent Crump with the Phoenix Police Department said police then received a call that someone was trying to cover, and possibly hide, a Ford Mustang at a home in the area and additional officers responded to the scene.
Crump said the first officers on scene split up to search for the suspect.
Murphy encountered the shooter and was shot, said Crump.
Police put Murphy, an officer from the Squaw Peak Precinct, in a police car to take him to a nearby hospital instead of waiting for an ambulance.
They rushed Murphy to St. Joseph’s Hospital where he died from his injuries.
Phoenix Law Enforcement Association President Mark Spencer said Murphy has a wife, a 2-year-old daughter, and a 2-week-old son.
He was with the department for about five years.
Rich Rodriguez, a neighbor, said he saw the Mustang back into an abandoned house and the suspect trying to cover it. After police came, Rodriguez said he heard gunfire and saw an officer on the ground.
A search for the suspect was launched and homes in the area were evacuated.
Martinez, who Crump said is in the country legally, was reportedly found hiding in a shed in a backyard and was taken into custody. A weapon was also recovered at the scene and a substantial amount of evidence has been recovered.
Martinez sustained injuries from a K9 bite and a rubber bullet, according to Crump.
Wednesday afternoon, police walked Martinez, who was seen wearing a hospital gown with bandages on his upper arm, into the Fourth Avenue Jail.
Phoenix Public Safety Manager Jack Harris confirmed Martinez has an extensive violent crimes record.
According to the Arizona Department of Corrections, Martinez has an extensive criminal record.
He has been in and out of prison as far back as 1997 for charges including misconduct involving weapons, criminal damage, criminal trespassing and also for drug violations.
While in prison, Martinez also faced additional charges for smuggling contraband.
Crump said there are no outstanding suspects at this time, but anyone with information is asked to contact police.
Officers have gathered at St. Joseph’s hospital to show support for the fallen officer.