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Dozens of Arizona law enforcement officers from multiple agencies responded to a situation at a car dealership complex on Friday that left one officer dead.
Law enforcement officials said a suspect driving a stolen car hit two police officers, including Chandler Police officer Christopher Farrar, an 18-year veteran of the force. Farrar was transported to the Chandler Regional Medical Center and later died, Gilbert Police Chief Michael Soelberg told reporters during a news conference. A number of other officers were injured at the scene, one critically, he added.
Soelberg said a pursuit began miles away in Eloy, when a driver was pulled over for speeding at 10:22 p.m. local time. The pursuit shut down nearby Chandler Airport after the suspect rammed through one of the gates.
FOX 10 Phoenix reported that the driver ended up getting back on the freeway, leading police to Gilbert, where the suspect left his car and stole another vehicle from one of the dealerships at the SanTan Motorplex.
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ABC15 reported Friday that ambulances and medical helicopters were spotted leaving the auto complex and that several officers were seen at Chandler Regional Medical Center.
"It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Chandler Police Officer Christopher Farrar. Officer Farrar was struck and killed by a suspect driving a stolen vehicle earlier this evening. He was a 18-year veteran of the Chandler Police Department."
(Chandler Police Department)
“It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Chandler Police Officer Christopher Farrar,” the department wrote on Twitter. “Officer Farrar was struck and killed by a suspect driving a stolen vehicle earlier this evening. He was a 18-year veteran of the Chandler Police Department.”
While no information about the suspect was released, officials said he was in custody and injured following a shootout with seven officers at the SanTan Motorplex.
A video clip posted on Twitter appears to show police officers helping an injured officer to a patrol car.
An employee at the dealership was injured and also taken to the hospital, though it was unclear if all were taken to the Chandler Regional Medical Center.
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Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb said at the news conference that his heart went out to Chandler Police and noted that the investigation remains active.
In a tweet early Friday morning, the Chandler Police Department wrote that they were working on “a police incident” with the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office, Gilbert Police Department, Arizona Department of Public Safety and Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.
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Arizona Family reported Friday that police had blocked off most of the SanTan MotorPlex near the Loop 202 Santan Freeway and Val Vista Drive.
The Arizona Department of Transportation tweeted a couple of hours later that the area was “CLOSED” and that there was “no estimated time to reopen.”
Fox News’ Emmett Jones contributed to this report
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