Phoenix, AZ – A knife-wielding attacker chased a Phoenix police officer around her patrol vehicle while threatening to slice her throat in a store parking lot on Sunday (video below).
The harrowing incident began at approximately 7:45 p.m., when someone called 911 to report that a man armed with a knife was threatening to kill people at the Asiana Market near Union Hills Drive and 43rd Avenue, KTVK reported.
A lone Phoenix officer responded to the scene and intercepted the irate suspect out in the parking lot, cell phone footage showed.
The officer drew her duty weapon and ordered the man to put the knife down as she backed away from him while trying to use her patrol vehicle as a partial barrier.
“Shut up!” the man screamed repeatedly, chasing her around the SUV. “Shut your f–king mouth!”
The violent suspect then threatened to murder the officer, the video showed.
“Shoot me – I’ll kill you,” he told her. “I’ll kill you, you stupid little b—h. I’ll f–king slice your f–king throat!”
The officer again ordered the suspect to put his knife down, but he shoved the blade in her direction and began advancing on her as she backed away across the parking lot, the video showed.
The officer ultimately fired her weapon as her attacker closed in.
“Did she shoot him?” a bystander asked in the video.
“She had to!” another witness responded.
The unnamed 55-year-old suspect remained hospitalized on Tuesday, KNXV reported.
Phoenix Councilman Sal DiCiccio praised the officer for her heroism and restraint.
“Officer did an amazing job,” DiCiccio wrote in a Facebook post on Tuesday. “Watch how many times she circles the car. She risked her own life by not taking the shot much earlier, though she would have been justified in doing so.”
The officer who came under attack has been on the force for one year, he said.
The councilman noted that it takes less than one second for an attacker to close in on a victim from 21 feet away.
“This guy was less than 10 feet away and was a direct threat to her life,” he said, adding that the officer was a “hero [who] protected innocent lives.”
DiCiccio said that law enforcement officers face even greater risks due to anti-police rioters and media outlets.
“Every day our police officers leave for work not knowing if they will return home to their families,” he wrote. “The anti-police crowd from the newspapers and other media are putting officer and public lives in danger. Where is the outrage from the media at all the police deaths in just the past few weeks?”
Former Phoenix Assistant Police Chief Andy Anderson said that the officer handled the situation exactly as she was trained, KTVK reported.
“She was trying very hard to create distance with this individual,” the retired chief said. “She was trying very hard to get this individual to listen to her and calm down, but when he advanced on her in the method that he did, she ran out of options.”
Watch the incident unfold in the video below. Warning – Graphic Content and Obscene Language: