PHOENIX – A 31-year Phoenix police veteran was killed and two other officers were injured when a man opened fire on them during a call about a disturbance between roommates in northwest Phoenix Sunday night, authorities said.
Commander Greg Carnicle has died after being shot, police said. The other two officers are expected to recover.
The shooting drew a massive police response at the scene, with dozens of police vehicles and tactical trucks.
Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams spoke to reporters outside HonorHealth Deer Valley Medical Center on Sunday night, saying that she and Carnicle had known one another for years and had worked in the Maryvale precinct together.
“I can tell you this about Greg: I knew him for 30 years,” Williams said. “He and I worked together in Maryvale precinct and used to enjoy way too much Church’s Chicken on duty, so to be able to stand here today and say that one of my good friends is lost is troubling.”
Carnicle was married and the father of four adult children. He was months away from retiring, police said.
Critical Incident: With heavy hearts we announce the passing of a Phx PD Commander. Greg Carnicle was shot at the scene of a domestic violence call. Two other officers also shot at 40th Drive and Pinnacle Peak. The two officers are expected to recover. RIP Cmdr Carnicle. pic.twitter.com/7h4Nih5Y2g
— Phoenix Police Department (@PhoenixPolice) March 30, 2020
Police: Man opened fire on officers
Officers were responding to a disturbance call Sunday evening about an argument between roommates, Phoenix police spokeswoman Sgt. Mercedes Fortunetold reporters outside the hospital.
The officers arrived at the house and were talking to the man when the encounter started escalating. He was not cooperating with officers and shot them, Fortune said.
It is currently unknown what let up to the shooting, Fortune said.
The shooter was still inside the residence and the situation was still active as of 10 p.m., Fortune said. Police vehicles began leaving the scene before midnight, indicating the scene was no longer active, but police did not immediately confirm what had happened.
Early-morning procession from the hospital
Many vehicles then headed to HonorHealth Deer Valley, about 10 minutes south, where at least 40 police cruisers lined up, red and blue lights flashing, preparing for a procession.
Other law enforcement officers not in uniform stood on the sidewalk outside the hospital for hours waiting to pay their respects.
The procession left the hospital about 12:45 a.m. Monday. As the SUV transporting Carnicle’s body left, dozens of officers standing in front of their police vehicles saluted the commander.
With eight motorcycles in front of the black SUV and two behind, the procession traveled south on Interstate 17 to downtown Phoenix and the Maricopa County Medical Examiner’s Officer, where another cohort of police waited to receive him.
Carnicle oversaw all evening and weekend patrol operations, the Phoenix Police Department said in a Facebook post. It said he had held positions throughout the department, singling out his stints with the special assignments unit and the K9 unit.
Commander was ‘proud to serve this community’
Many of the Valley’s leaders in law enforcement said that, like Williams, they also knew Carnicle.
Col. Frank Milstead of the Arizona Department of Public Safety said in a tweet that the two “served together in the Traffic Bureau and Tactical Support Bureau, while I was working at Phoenix PD,” he said.
I am sadden by the death of my friend @PhoenixPolice Commander Greg Carnicle. We served together in the Traffic Bureau and Tactical Support Bureau, while I was working at Phoenix PD. He was 30+ year veteran of the PPD. Via Con Dios.
— Col. Frank Milstead (@frank_milstead) March 30, 2020
Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone said he knew Carnicle as well.
“I have known Commander Greg Carnicle since our time at Cortez High School. He is a good man, kind and thoughtful and was proud to serve this community,” Penzone said in a tweet.
“I have known Commander Greg Carnicle since our time at Cortez High School. He is a good man, kind and thoughtful and was proud to serve this community with the @PhoenixPolice. This is an absolute loss for our community.
— Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (@mcsoaz) March 30, 2020
Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel spoke at the news conference outside the hospital to reiterate the community’s support for law enforcement.
“We stand with the Phoenix Police Department and all of our first responders. We are so saddened by this loss. And please know we are walking alongside you. As a community we need to be there for each other right now more than ever. Please know we are dedicated to public safety and our first responders. Let our thoughts and our prayers be with the Phoenix Police Department at this time,” Adel said.
Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego shared words about Carnicle and his career as an officer on Twitter.
“After a decorated career spent keeping PHX safe, he had his choice of assignments. He volunteered to be a Night Commander – this is the truest sign of the integrity of his character,” she wrote.
No words are adequate to express my sadness for Commander Carnicle’s family and @PhoenixPolice. After a decorated career spent keeping PHX safe, he had his choice of assignments. He volunteered to be a Night Commander—this is the truest sign of the integrity of his character. https://t.co/HmAcWXB8kl
— Mayor Kate Gallego (@MayorGallego) March 30, 2020
Gov. Doug Ducey also tweeted about the shooting, asking for people to pray for the officers and their families.
— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) March 30, 2020
David Glasser, 35, was the last Phoenix officer to die by gunfire. He was critically injured on May 18, 2016, in a gunbattle with an armed robbery suspect and died the next day.
Officer Paul Rutherford, 51, was struck by a vehicle and died March 21, 2019.
This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Phoenix shooting leaves police commander dead, 2 officers injured