Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

Man accused of killing Phoenix cop had Tucson arrest record

From the Arizona Republic:

by Michael Ferraresi and Ian Sullivan
The Arizona Republic

A Phoenix police officer was shot and killed while searching for a man near Indian School Road and 19th Avenue early Wednesday morning.

Officer Travis P. Murphy, 29, was shot about 1:30 a.m. He had a wife and children ages 2 years old and 2 weeks old.

The line-of-duty death marks the first in Phoenix since an officer was fatally wounded by a drunken driver in 2008.

Police said the suspected shooter, Danny L. Martinez, was booked into jail on suspicion of first-degree murder.

Danny L. Martinez is accused of fatally shooting Phoenix police Officer Travis P. Murphy./Photo Phoenix Police Department via Arizona Republic

Danny L. Martinez is accused of fatally shooting Phoenix police Officer Travis P. Murphy./Photo Phoenix Police Department via Arizona Republic

The shooting apparently stemmed from an earlier call about shots being fired in northwest Phoenix, though investigators were still trying piece together what happened, said Sgt. Trent Crump, a spokesman for the department.

After a call was sent out to other officers, a Mustang with front-end damage was spotted near 19th Avenue and Indian School.

Several minutes later, the Mustang was apparently backed into a carport and covered with tarp in the 1900 block of west Fairmount Avenue.

Murphy and his partner went to the home to investigate. The officers went on opposite sides of the house.

Murphy found Martinez, who authorities suspected opened fire on him. Several shots were fired, though it wasn’t clear if Murphy returned fire.

Fellow officers did not wait for an ambulance and instead put the wounded officer in a police car and took him to St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center.

Tactical teams and a police dog found Martinez hiding naked in a shed nearby the home, Crump said. Officers fired rubber bullets to subdue the man.

He has been taken to police headquarters. The man has not been cooperative with police and authorities have not released further details about the identity of the man.

Murphy was pronounced dead at 3:30 a.m.

Danny Ledesma Martinez, 30, served almost three years in prison for felony charges of misconduct involving weapons from the Tucson area, according to the Arizona Department of Corrections.

Martinez was released in April 2009. He pleaded guilty in Tucson City Court to DUI in October 2009. Pleaded guilty to theft in Tucson City Court in 2003.

Crump said he was apparently a legal resident of the United States.

Crump said officers were shocked by the news and prepared for a Memorial Day weekend of mourning. “It makes the day so somber because they know what’s coming up this weekend,” Crump said.

Phoenix Public Safety Manager Jack Harris canceled a meeting in Washington, D.C. with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder about immigration issues and planned to return to the Valley Wednesday.

Phoenix Law Enforcement Association President Mark Spencer said stops might not always seem dangerous.

“A car speeding down the street, there’s nothing dangerous or serious about that, but the potential for violence never goes away,” Spencer said. “There is no such thing as a routine traffic stop.”

Officers have found a handgun that is believed to be used to shoot Murphy and other evidence on the scene, police said.

The police are not actively looking for any other suspects.

Search site | Terms of service