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Phoenix Police Officer Shot, Manhunt Underway For Armed And Dangerous Fugitive

Phoenix, AZ – A female Phoenix police officer was shot while responding to a domestic violence call on Thursday morning.

The incident began at approximately 10:15 a.m., when a woman called police from a Marathon gas station located near Beardsley Road and Cave Creek Road to report she was afraid of a possible confrontation with her boyfriend, 35-year-old Nicholas Cody Cowan, KTVK reported.

The woman told investigators Cowan had tried to commit suicide, “committed several criminal acts,” and threatened to “shoot it out” with law enforcement officers, according to police.

Cowan pulled into the parking lot of the Marathon station just as police were arriving, KTVK reported.

When the officers began approaching him, Cowan allegedly pulled out a gun and opened fire on them from inside his vehicle, shooting a female officer, according to police.

A second officer returned fire as Cowan continued shooting, KTVK reported.

The gunman then sped off.

The second officer was not hit during the shootout.

The wounded 40-year-old officer, a 24-year veteran of the force, was rushed to HonorHealth Deer Valley Medical Center, where she was taken into emergency surgery, KTVK reported.

The bullet was removed successfully and the veteran officer was recovering in stable condition at approximately 4:30 p.m., according to police.

PPD Chief Jeri Williams said the wounded officer is married to another PPD officer.

“This is a family of public servants to our community,” Chief Williams told reporters on Thursday, according to KTVK.

“She’s a wife, she’s a mom, she’s a dedicated public servant,” the chief added, according to The Arizona Republic. “Please keep all of our officers in your thoughts and prayers.”

The incident marked the eighth time a PPD officer has been shot in the past four months.

“I’m angry, I’m tired and I’m frustrated,” Chief Williams said.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety issued a Blue Alert for Cowan at approximately 3:55 p.m. on Thursday.

A $5,000 reward is being offered for information leading to his arrest.

Investigators located Cowan’s vehicle in the area of Greenway and Fifth Avenue at approximately 1 p.m., but he was nowhere to be found, KTVK reported.

He was last seen in the area of Union Hills and 32nd Street.

Cowan is a white male who stands six feet tall and weighs approximately 215 pounds, according to police.

He has tattoos on his neck and may be bleeding.

Cowan was last seen wearing a white shirt, black shorts, and a black hat.

Police said Cowan should be considered armed and dangerous and not to approach him.

Susan Cowan, the suspect’s aunt, said she “wasn’t in disbelief” when she heard her nephew had allegedly shot a police officer, KNXV reported.

“We fear we won’t be seeing him again,” she added.

Cowan’s criminal history stretches back to 2005, KNXV reported.

He spent much of his adult life in prison on charges including weapons offenses, aggravated assault, aggravated DUI, and resisting arrest, according to KSAZ.

Cowan’s aunt said many of his offenses involve drugs, KNXV reported.

Court records show the suspect pleaded guilty to a federal charge of possession with intent to distribute heroin in 2018, according to KSAZ.

He wrapped up an 18-month prison sentence in May of 2020, and was serving a 36-month supervised release when the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office (YCSO) arrested him on new charges of threatening an Arizona Department of Child Safety worker, endangering a child with drug manufacturing equipment, and manufacture and distribution of drugs.

Cowan was remanded to the custody of the Bureau of Prisons in May of 2021, but it is unclear when he was released from prison, KSAZ reported.

The Yavapai County Attorney’s Office said Cowan currently is the subject of two open cases.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin


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