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Phoenix police release video of March shooting near airport

Police say a man with a knife stepped toward officers before they shot him and used a stun gun on him.
Credit: Phoenix Police

PHOENIX — Police say a man with a knife moved toward officers before he was shot by police in March, according to a new transparency report released by police Friday.

New body-worn camera video shows a man holding some items including a knife being approached by Phoenix police on March 13. The man took three steps in the direction of an officer before another officer fired his gun at the man. Another officer also fired a stun gun.

The man, identified by police as 35-year-old Mario Valenzuela, was taken to the hospital with serious injuries. He later pleaded guilty to aggravated assault, police said.

The incident started when people contacted police for reports of a man with a gun near 24th Street and Buckeye Road. Callers told police he had a knife and had cut himself.

Officers assigned to Sky Harbor International Airport found the man, but the initial interaction was not captured on video because these officers do not have body-worn cameras.

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More officers arrived and asked Valenzuela to drop the knife.

"Shoot me! Shoot me!" Valenzuela is heard shouting in the video.

"We're not going to shoot you!" an officer responds.

After an officer shot Valenzuela and another officer hit him with stun gun probes, Valenzuela was still holding the knife so an officer used the stun gun on him again. Valenzuela is seen dropping the knife.

No officers were hurt in the incident.

The Phoenix Police Department did not release the names of the officers involved, but said the officer who fired his gun was a 52-year-old man assigned to the airport. He has 19 years of experience with the department. The officer who fired her stun gun is 23 years old and has less than 2 years of experience with the department.

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This information was released as a Critical Incident Briefing. The Phoenix Police Department issues CIBs for high-profile incidents and officer-involved shootings as an effort of transparency.

The video below was created by the police department. It contains profanity.