Shootout Comes 2 Days After Officer Funeral - 8 News NOW

Brian Allen, Reporter

Shootout Comes 2 Days After Officer Funeral

Posted: Updated:
Police photo: 32-year-old Christopher Scott Hawkins Police photo: 32-year-old Christopher Scott Hawkins

(9 p.m.) -- Just two days after they laid one of their own to rest -- shot and killed during a shoot-out with a suspect, Metro Police officers came under fire again Thursday and they fired back with force -- 605 shots trying to bring 32-year-old Christopher Scott Hawkins down. Some of those shots did kill the suspect.

Police say Hawkins is no stranger to crime with a long list of firearms and narcotics related charges. And this isn't the first time he attacked a police officer. In California he was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer. On an outstanding warrant for Hawkins police listed a caution saying they noticed violent tendencies at the time of the incident.

Negotiators on the scene said it was clear Hawkins said he would rather die than go back to prison.

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Metro Police say the man who engaged in a shootout with them on Thursday was heavily armed with several weapons including semi-automatic handguns, a shotgun and a rifle.  The five hour standoff ended with police shooting and killing the suspect.

The scene near the shooting was tense, but when you hear the conversations of officers inside the Woodridge Villa apartments, you understand how serious it was.

The gun battle began when police went to the complex to investigate a complaint about marijuana smoke. Police ordered the man to come out of the apartment.  When he didn't come out, officers entered the apartment and were met with gunfire.  Police say the suspect chased the officers outside  and kept firing a weapon.  The officers were pinned under a stairwell when they first called for help.

There were numerous rounds of gunfire as other officers began arriving.  More than 50 police responded to the scene.  Two days earlier, police from all over the valley attended the funeral of Sgt. Henry Prendes who was killed when he was ambushed by a gunman when responding to a domestic call. 

The radion transmissions indicate how serious Thursday situation quickly became.

Officer: Advise all riflemen if anybody pokes out of that balcony, spray some fire on him.

Metro officers, using their portable radios, trying to warn other officers of the danger. Trying to figure out how to get residents out of danger too.

Officer: Can you give me info on that evacuation?
Dispatcher: Right now it's unknown if anyone has been evacuated from those residences.
Officer: Myself, I've got a team, we're going to start the evacuation process.

A team of five officers led dozens of residents to safety; as they were leading people out, the SWAT team was going in.

Officer: Per SWAT have all officers hold their positions. Do not move from their positions. Make sure you put that out to everybody.
Dispatcher: All units hold your positions, SWAT is coming in to take over.

That SWAT unit exchanged fire with the suspect, and ultimately it would be SWAT that would kill the gunman.

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