A man is in custody following a chase along several freeways in the Valley.
Around 4 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 5, Peoria police said detectives and members of their Special Assignments Unit were attempting to locate and arrest a dangerous individual who was wanted for several domestic violence charges and had threatened to kill the victim and others.
While officers were looking for the suspect in a parking lot, it appeared the suspect noticed the officers, police said. The suspect then entered his vehicle and exited onto a frontage road when officers heard one shot, and then saw the suspect pointing the gun in their direction, police said. Officers then initiated a pursuit with the suspect vehicle.
The pursuit went southbound on Interstate 17 and continued onto westbound Interstate 10. The suspect exited southbound onto the Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway, and then exited on Lower Buckeye Road, police said.
The suspect then traveled westbound and turned north onto 67th Avenue. The suspect vehicle then pulled into the parking lot of the QuikTrip at 67th Avenue and Buckeye Road.
Police said the suspect was non-compliant upon contact. With the help of the Phoenix Police Department and a K-9 unit, the suspect was taken into custody. He was then transported to a hospital for injuries from a K-9 bite, according to court documents.
TV news cameras at the scene of the arrest showed officials applying a mask to the suspect's face before loading him into an ambulance.
"This incident could have ended much worse and we are grateful for the assistance from Phoenix Police and DPS," Peoria police stated. "We also want to thank the public for their patience as we know this incident significantly impacted the afternoon commute."
Phoenix police and the Arizona Department of Public Safety assisted with the pursuit, Peoria police said.
No officers were injured, and Peoria police have been assessing vehicles for damage.
Court documents identify Bryan Mitchell Lamb as the suspect. He was booked into jail in lieu of $200,000 bond on charges of unlawful flight, aggravated domestic violence, discharge of a firearm, endangerment, criminal trespassing, stalking, harassment, and criminal damage.
Court documents state the suspect and the victim had been together for 20 years, married for 14 years and separated six years ago. However, their divorce was finalized in January. On July 27, the victim had obtained an order of protection against the suspect, and it was served on him the following day.
Police had responded to over 10 calls for service at a home near 83rd Avenue and Thunderbird Road since Feb. 9, according to court documents. Incidents entailed harassment against the victim by the suspect. On July 23, the victim said the suspect had rammed vehicles in front of her parents' home, nearly injuring her.
Police had detained the suspect July 24 after the victim reported that the suspect was approaching her house. An officer spotted the suspect fail to stop a red light and initiated a traffic stop. While in a police vehicle, the suspect tried to strangle himself, but the officer stopped him, records state. The suspect was then taken to a hospital. Police also submitted charges to city court.
Over the course of the last several months, the suspect continued to threaten to harm the victim and her family, records state. On Wednesday, the victim called police to report the suspect drive by her residence. After obtaining permission to ping the suspect’s cell phone, police tracked him to the hotel near I-17 and Bell Road, where the above police situation began.
During the chase, the suspect vehicle attained speeds over 90 mph and the driver allegedly pointed a firearm at three police vehicles, records state. Near the I-17/I-10 interchange, the driver allegedly fired at officers, shattering the glass of his back window. The chase ended at the gas station in southwest Phoenix.
The suspect admitted to firing one shot, breaking, the window and throwing the weapon out along I-17. Authorities stated they located a handgun on the side of a surface street near 25th Avenue and Belleview Street, next to the freeway interchange.
The suspect admitted to being in the area of the victim's home in order to pick up his son, records state.
AZPOINT available to help victims of domestic violence
In January, the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission; the Arizona Supreme Court, the Governor’s Office of Youth, Faith and Family; and the Arizona Department of Public Safety unveiled the state's new online Order of Protection system — Arizona Protective Order Initiation and Notification Tool (AZPOINT) — to increase public safety by enhancing access and efficiency for the Order of Protection and Injunctions Against Harassment process for the public, law enforcement and the judicial system.
Before 2020, under Arizona’s old system, courts were issuing over 42,000 Orders of Protection/Injunctions Against Harassment on average per year, but about 50% were being served, according to a release. Also, it was taking up to 13 days to serve an Order of Protection and nearly 10 days for the Order to be entered into the National Crime Information Center to be enforceable.
Officials said there were a number of issues that caused the delays, including an outdated statute, existing statewide system that was paper-based, as well as the plaintiff being responsible for initiating the service of the Protective Orders.
In an effort to address the issues facing victims of domestic violence, the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission acquired a grant to perform a statewide assessment on the Protection Order/Injunction Against Harassment process where it hosted focus groups with over 300 court personnel, victim advocates, prosecutors, law enforcement and constables in all 15 counties. From these focus groups, the ACJC developed best practices and developed legislative proposals.
In 2018, the Arizona Legislature passed HB 2249, which allowed all partnering agencies to:
Visit https://azpoint.azcourts.gov/ for more information on the system.
Editor's Note: Updates story to correct sentence stating "Incidents entailed harrasment against the victim by the suspect.