PHOENIX — Arizona lawmakers are considering assigning tougher penalties to suspects who ambush police after multiple Valley officers have recently been wounded in these types of surprise attacks.
House Bill 2485 would add more years to a defendant's prison sentence if they're found guilty in court of ambushing a police officer. The bill passed out of the Public Safety Committee on Monday with support from Republicans and Democrats.
If the bill is ultimately signed into law, then it would add two years to a defendant's presumptive prison sentence after they're found guilty of lying in wait to ambush an officer.
The bill additionally states that the defendant would not be eligible "for suspension of sentence, commutation or early release on any basis until the sentence is served."
Supporters of the legislation told lawmakers that it is necessary to send a strong message that Arizona doesn't tolerate this type of offense on law enforcement.
Officers in the Phoenix Police Department have been injured in multiple incidents over the last year that have been described by the agency as an ambush.
One of those attacks resulted in at least nine officers sustaining injuries during a shootout outside a Phoenix residence last February. The shooter did not survive the incident.
Two brothers were arrested last March for allegedly firing 18 shots at two Phoenix patrol cars in a suspected "ambush-style" attack.
Officer Tyler Moldovan was shot eight times in December 2021 by a suspect who was allegedly hiding behind a wall before firing shots.
HB2485 must still pass through both legislative chambers before it can be signed into law.
Up to Speed
Catch up on the latest news and stories on our 12News YouTube playlist here.