Deer Valley shooting spree

Two people are dead and five are injured, including two Phoenix police officers, after a shooting spree in Deer Valley around 8:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 28. (Foothills Focus file photo)

Two people were killed and five injured, including two Phoenix police officers, after a shooting that occurred near 26th Avenue and Deer Valley Road around 8:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 28.

Police identified the shooter as 24-year-old Isaiah Steven Williams. The Maricopa County medical examiner found a single, self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head and determined that Williams died from taking his own life.

As of Friday, Sept. 2, one of the victims has been identified as 36-year-old Misael Arevalo. The other victim has not been identified.

The names of the two police officers and three civilians that sustained non-life threatening injuries have not been released. One of the police officers remains hospitalized in stable condition, and the other wounded victims have been treated and released.

Surveillance video from businesses in the area show the incident started when an adult male, later identified as Williams, exited a motel in the area of 2600 W. Deer Valley Road and started firing a semi-automatic rifle at random. He shot into the motel and then at a car pulling into the parking lot. The two people inside that car were pronounced dead at the scene from gunshot wounds. Williams is also seen throwing a Molotov cocktail at a restaurant window, but it did not ignite.

It was about that time that officers began to arrive, and Williams directed his fire toward them. Phoenix Police Department public information sergeant Vincent Cole said officers were “immediately met with a barrage of gunfire.”

Police reports state Williams immediately opened fire on several fully marked patrol SUV’s and four patrol cars were riddled with bullets. 

A male and female officer crew were the first to respond to the initial call. The male officer was struck by a bullet in the shoulder and a female officer was hit by shrapnel in multiple places.

In addition, three nearby civilians were injured by flying gunfire.

“Two Phoenix police officers have been injured in a shooting near 26th Avenue and Deer Valley,” Phoenix police tweeted around 9:30 p.m. Sunday Aug. 28. “They are being transported to the hospital. This is still an active scene. Avoid the area.”

After engaging in gunfire with police, Williams retreated. Surveillance footage showed him making his way through the parking lot before collapsing. Police said during the course of the shooting, Williams was wearing a ballistic vest with steel plates, a ballistic helmet, a gas mask, knee pads and was armed with a semi-automatic rifle, along with a number of incendiary devices and multiple magazines for the rifle.

Later that evening, Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams gave a statement.

“This is another example of gun violence in our community, another example of gun violence in our country, which is why the Phoenix Police Department is focused on identifying, arresting and bringing to justice those individuals who commit gun violence,” she said.

“How many more officers have to be shot? How many more community members have to be killed before those in our community take a stand? This is not a Phoenix police issue, this is a community issue.”

Deer Valley Road was closed from the I-17 overpass to 27th Avenue until the following afternoon, Monday, Aug. 29. While the road has reopened, the scene is still under investigation. 

“This is a very complex scene with dozens of people to interview,” Phoenix police said in a tweet.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is assisting in the investigation. 

At this time, there is no information about Williams other than his name. It is not clear where he lived, if he had a criminal record or the motive behind his actions.

This is an evolving story, information is up to date at the time of print.