Gilbert, AZ – Chandler Police Department (CPD) Officer Christopher Farrar was killed in the line of duty on Thursday night after a convicted felon behind the wheel of a stolen vehicle crashed into him while trying to escape.
The incident began shortly after 10 p.m., when a Pinal County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) deputy tried to stop a vehicle on State Route 87 near Eloy, the City of Gilbert said in a press release on Friday morning.
The driver refused to pull over and opened fire on the deputy, kicking off a pursuit.
The suspect ended up ramming through a gate at the Chandler Airport, resulting in the airport briefly shutting down, WTXF reported.
After driving onto the Chandler Airport runway, the suspect sped off onto the 202 San Tan Freeway while driving the wrong way, according to the press release.
He ended up exiting the freeway and crashed near the Val Vista Drive eastbound on-ramp, then bailed out on foot into the parking lot of the San Tan Ford dealership, police said.
As officers from multiple agencies swarmed the building, the suspect allegedly stole a vehicle and tried to flee yet again.
He crashed into 50-year-old Officer Farrar, as well as a Gilbert Police Department (GPD) officer and a dealership janitorial employee during his escape attempt, according to police.
Four Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) troopers and three PCSO deputies opened fire, hitting the suspect.
The wounded felon was taken into custody and transported to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries, police said.
The two officers and the janitorial employee he hit during the attack were rushed to a local hospital.
Three DPS troopers suffered non-life threatening injuries during the encounter, police said.
The dealership employee who was hit by the fleeing suspect received “minor injuries,” according to the press release.
The unidentified GPD officer who was hit by the fleeing felon remains hospitalized in critical condition with a “severe head injury,” according to the press release.
Officer Farrar, an 18-year CPD veteran assigned to the K9 unit, ultimately succumbed to his injuries, police said.
“Chris was struck and killed by a violent felon in a stolen vehicle following a multi-agency shooting and pursuit,” CPD Chief Sean Duggan confirmed, according to WTXF.
“This is a very difficult time for our department and really the entire Chandler community,” Chief Duggan continued, according to KTVK.
Officer Farrar’s American flag-draped body was escorted from the Chandler Medical Center to the Maricopa County Medical Examiner’s Office by a procession of first responders at approximately 6 a.m. on Friday.
“I just ask that you keep Chris’s family in your thoughts and prayers, and take a moment and be mindful of the brave men and women who are out there daily helping keep our communities safe,” Chief Duggan said, according to WYMT.
— Gilbert Police Dept. (@GilbertPolice) April 30, 2021
Our hearts go out to the family, friends & colleagues of Chandler police officer Christopher Farrar.
We honor his service and sacrifice which will never be forgotten. pic.twitter.com/S2SQpMzi4F
— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) April 30, 2021
Procession of @ChandlerPolice officer Christopher Farrar, as his body was taken from Chandler Regional Medical Center to the medical examiner’s office in Downtown Phoenix. Family and colleagues watched in tears. Rest In Peace sir. 🙏 💙
📸 @SXPhotographyAZ pic.twitter.com/lnODKgDpWs
— Kim Quintero (@KimQuintero) April 30, 2021
All flags at city buildings have been lowered until sunset tonight, Friday, April 30, to honor Chandler Police Officer Christopher Farrar.
He was killed in the line of duty last night. He was an 18-year veteran of the Chandler Police Department.
— Phoenix City Manager (@PHXcitymanager) April 30, 2021
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Chandler Police Department Officer Christopher Farrar, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Officer Christopher Farrar, your life mattered.