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Gunman shoots cop, jumps from balcony, dies in shootout with police

Police car lights (Wikimedia/Matty Ring)
January 15, 2023

A gunman shot and wounded a Scottsdale, Arizona police officer on Jan. 6 and escaped officers by jumping off a balcony. He remained on the run until he was fatally wounded in a shootout on Jan. 8.

Police shot and killed suspect Kenneth Hearne, 37, on Jan. 7 after attempting to arrest him in connection with an October sexual assault case.

In a Jan. 12 press conference, Scottsdale Police Sgt. Kevin Quon said Hearne was recently identified as a suspect in an October 12 sexual assault case against a 70-year-old victim. Scottsdale Police obtained a search warrant of Hearne’s apartment, and as they attempted to carry out that warrant on the evening of Jan. 6, he allegedly fired a gun through a wall, striking Scottsdale Police Sgt. Scott Galbraith in the abdomen.

Following that initial shootout, Hearne escaped the apartment complex. Quon said Hearne escaped after the initial shooting by jumping from a second-story balcony.

After Hearne escape police in Scottsdale, the Phoenix Police Department began assisting in the search and was able to track him down. 

On Jan. 8, Phoenix Police approached Hearne in Tempe. Hearne pulled out a gun and police responded by firing on Hearne.

Hearne was wounded in the exchange of gunfire and Phoenix police officers rendered first aid. Hearne was taken to a hospital in “extremely critical condition” where he later died.

Scottsdale Police Lt. Lee Campbell said DNA recovered from Hearne after the Tempe shootout matched the DNA recovered from the October sexual assault case.

Campbell said Scottsdale Police have contacted the victim of the October sexual assault case and “bring some closure to her.”

Campbell said the gun recovered from the scene of the shooting also matched the gun used to shoot and wound Scottsdale Sgt. Galbraith.

Quon said Galbraith, the injured officer, is “doing well” and is expected to make a full recovery.