Witness describes armed robbery that led to fatal officer-involved shooting

KOLD News 5-5:30 p.m. recurring
Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 5:59 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - Authorities are investigating after an armed robbery in midtown led to a barricade situation and an officer-involved shooting that left one man dead.

This happened near Grant and Tucson Boulevard on Tuesday afternoon.

Police say the armed robbery started at Harvest of Tucson Dispensary and it ended at Benny’s Mexican restaurant.

Sunset Smoke Shop, where Kyle Oliver works, is across the street from Harvest of Tucson. Oliver says his friend who works at Harvest tried to de-escalate the situation with the suspect even though the suspect was threatening him.

He said, ″The dude kept pulling the gun, putting it to my buddy’s mouth, putting it to my buddy’s chest.”

Tucson Police said the suspect was a man in his 30s. Oliver said the suspect went into Harvest looking for someone.

″He jumped the counter at harvest across the street from us with a gun, tried to ask about his sister and looking for some albino man with braids, which does not work there,” he explained.

His friend tried to talk the suspect down and was able to get him out of dispensary. By the time police arrived, the suspect barricaded himself inside Benny’s Mexican Restaurant.

“The traffic was stopped. Dude could’ve easily shot across the road, dipped in here, which probably wouldn’t have been the best idea for him,” Oliver said. “But it just wouldn’t have been a good situation for anybody.”

TPD gave several commands, which were ignored. An officer then fired his weapon and hit the suspect.

Everyone was able to get out of the restaurant safely. When negotiators tried to contact the suspect, he did not respond, and SWAT later found him dead.

The suspect has not been identified and no one else was hurt.

The Pima Regional Critical Incident Team has been activated and the investigation is ongoing.