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Suspect in 'violent attack' on Phoenix police officer says he can't remember if he did or didn't shoot her

Court documents have revealed new details about an unprovoked attack on a Phoenix police officer that happened Friday morning.

PHOENIX — A Phoenix police officer has been released from the hospital after she was shot on Friday morning in what police called a "violent and unprovoked attack" near 7th Avenue and Broadway Road in south Phoenix, officials said.

The suspect told investigators that he'd been drinking and taken 2 Percocets and 2 Xanax on the morning of the attack. He also said that he couldn't remember if he did or didn't shoot the officer, court documents showed.

Police tweeted out a picture of the officer leaving the hospital Saturday evening.

"Our officer is in good spirts and taking time to recover," police said. "On behalf of the Department, I want to say thank you to everyone who has shown their support during this very difficult time."

Police said the officer was shot once in her hip in the area of 9th and Atlanta avenues. Sky12 captured several police officers taking a person into custody Friday afternoon. That man was since identified as 29-year-old Joseph Lopez, and booked into Maricopa County Jail.

Prosecutors said that Lopez is a documented member of a criminal street gang and a protective custody prison gang. They also said that he had been released from prison less than a year ago, and is on probation for another felony.

"This was an ambush on our officer," said Phoenix Police Chief Michael Sullivan.

Police said Lopez was found on the roof of a nearby home and a less-lethal use-of-force was used to detail him. He received minor injuries in the incident. 

The Phoenix Law Enforcement Association said the injured officer was shot after responding to reports of a car crash. The statement says the suspect reportedly jumped out of the vehicle with a rifle and "cowardly ambushed the officer." The suspect allegedly fired several shots at the officer in her patrol vehicle. The officer was also hit by bullet fragments to the face, police said. 

"The increased violence towards responding officers is becoming far too common here in Phoenix and is absolutely infuriating," said PLEA President Darrell Kriplean in the statement. "This behavior is unacceptable and must be condemned by our community and the Phoenix City Council."

Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego said Friday her "heart goes out to the officer and her family as she recovers." 

Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives are responding to this incident, according to a post published by the agency on Twitter.

The officer's injuries are considered non-life-threatening and she's currently stable. The officer has been with the agency for about one year.

The Roosevelt School District put several of its schools under lockdown procedures as police investigated the incident. Those lockdowns have since been lifted, police said. 

Police are recommending that Lopez be charged with several felony counts, including attempted murder.

Lopez is being held on a $1 million bond.

This is a developing story and updates will be published as they become available.

Credit: 12News

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