Shooting suspect arraigned Thursday

KINGMAN - A Kingman man involved with a police shooting in July was arraigned on Thursday.

John E. Demko, Jr., 21, of Kingman pleaded not guilty to two counts of felony aggravated assault, one count of theft of a means of transportation, criminal damage, unlawful flight and endangerment. He could face between seven and 21 years for the aggravated assault charges.

The evening of July 23, Mohave County Sheriff's deputies received a report of a stolen vehicle in the 4400 block of North Willow Street. MCSO issued an attempt to locate to all local law enforcement agencies for a white 2002 Chevrolet extended cab truck. Kingman Police officers located the truck at 8 p.m. Three KPD officers and an MCSO deputy attempted to stop the truck on Stockton Hill Road near the Andy Devine Avenue intersection.

Demko backed the vehicle into one KPD cruiser and ran into another KPD cruiser. During the incident, an officer fired multiple shots, striking Demko twice.

Demko escaped and merged eastbound onto Interstate 40. At one point, the vehicle made a U-turn in the median and headed westbound.

MCSO deputies deployed spike strips. Demko struck an Arizona Department of Public Safety unit multiple times before finally coming to a stop on the Andy Devine Avenue overpass.

A Taser was used at least once, and an MCSO K-9 was deployed before Demko was removed from the vehicle around 8:40 p.m.

Demko was rushed to Kingman Regional Medical Center where he underwent surgery. The officer-involved shooting is under investigation.

Demko's father later said his son was taking medication for a mental illness, that he was frightened and only trying to get away when he was shot by police.