Wanted felon William R. Thornton was killed on Monday following a high speed chase and shootout with Phoenix police during which he shot two officers, killing 21-year veteran John Hobbs. Thornton was then shot and killed by a third officer while attempting to flee on foot.
The drama began Monday morning when Hobbs and his partner attempted to execute an arrest warrant for William Thornton. Thornton was wanted for shooting another man in the chest on February 25. That man survived. Thornton spotted the officers and fled in his white sedan. The officers pursued Thornton at high speed until he reached the intersection of North 43rd Avenue and Bethany Home Road, where Thornton ran a light and rammed into a black pickup as well as another car, injuring both drivers.
That’s when a shootout began between the officers and Thornton, resulting in both officers suffering severe wounds. Officer John Hobbs died two hours later at St. Joseph’s Hospital, while his partner remains in the ICU in stable condition. Photos from the scene show evidence tags marking numerous bullet casings scattered on the ground.
Thornton was eventually brought down by a third officer nearby, who spotted him trying to flee on foot in the direction of a check cashing store. Thornton died at the scene.