UPDATE: Suspect in Aug. 22 officer-involved shooting released from hospital, booked into jail

UPDATE: Suspect in Aug. 22 officer-involved shooting released from hospital, booked into jail
Fernando Valenzuela (Source: Tucson Police Department)
Video from officer-involved shooting in Tucson

GRAPHIC CONTENT WARNING: Tucson Police to release video from Saturday's officer-involved shooting >> https://tucsonne.ws/3jjEN1f

Posted by KOLD News 13 on Tuesday, August 25, 2020

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The suspect in an August officer-involved shooting has been booked into the Pima County Jail, where he faces several felony charges.

Fernando Valenzuela, 34, was released from Banner-University Medical Center on Wednesday, Sept. 2. He was charged with two counts of aggravated assault on a peace officer, two counts of prohibited possessor, discharging a firearm within city limits, felony fleeing, and his felony warrant.

The Tucson Police Department released body camera footage of the Aug. 22 incident on Aug. 25.

During the news conference, Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus broke down the body camera footage pulled from the two officers.

The footage showed Valenzuela shot at two officers during the incident. He carried two firearms as he ran from officers at Los Ranchitos Mobile Home Park, which is near South Country Club and East Drexel roads.

The video shows the officers looking for Valenzuela as he was running through the mobile home park with the weapons. Valenzuela turned a corner and encountered an officer just a few feet away.

The Tucson Police Department said the suspect shot by officers on Aug. 22 was armed with a handgun and rifle.
The Tucson Police Department said the suspect shot by officers on Aug. 22 was armed with a handgun and rifle. (Source: Tucson Police Department)

Valenzuela had both firearms in his hands and appeared to raise them toward the officer, who shot him four times. After he was handcuffed, the officers began life-stabilizing measures before EMTs arrived.

Both officers involved in the shooting are on leave pending the investigation, which is standard procedure.

During the briefing, Magnus applauded the officers’ actions, saying they not only showed courage but also compassion to Valenzuela once he was shot.

“Their courage and composure under fire is remarkable and they showed extraordinary compassion to someone who has just been shooting at them moments before,” Magnus said.

On Twitter, Tucson Mayor Regina Romero praised the officers but called for gun reform, saying the firearms Valenzuela carried at the time should not be on the streets. He was armed with an .22 AR-styled pistol and a .40 handgun.

All this happened after officers arrived at Los Ranchitos on Saturday about a possible stolen vehicle.

A rental car business, equipped with GPS tracking, led the officers to the scene. When officers spotted the vehicle, Valenzuela sped away when they tried to stop the car.

When an officer arrived on Behan Street, he found the car parked and when he approached, a woman got out and tried to away. Valenzuela then fired a shot at the officer and ran away, as did two other suspects from the car.

More officers responded to the scene, including deputies from the Pima County Sheriff’s Department. Deputies were able to locate and detain the woman. As officers began searching for other suspects, additional shots from Valenzuela were fired toward Officer Calderon and he returned fire with his handgun.

Valenzuela ran toward a second officer on the scene, Officer Jahnke, and pointed the gun at him. Jahnke fired his weapon and struck Valenzuela several times.

A young minor who had fled the scene was located and detained.

Detectives with the Tucson Police Violent Crimes Section responded to continue the investigation.

After processing the scene, conducting interviews and reviewing body camera footage, it was determined that Calderon and Jahnke were the only officers who discharged a firearm during the shooting. It appears that Valenzuela was the only one of the four suspects to fire shots.

Two other suspects were identified but have not been charged at this time. A fourth suspect is still at large.

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