2 shots from police don't stop suspect

KINGMAN - Faced with a Chevrolet truck bearing down on him, a Kingman Police detective shot the driver of a pickup during a high-risk stop.

With at least two gunshot wounds, John Edward Demko Jr., 21, of Kingman continued to flee police Wednesday night in the vehicle until stop sticks were deployed on Interstate 40, KPD Sgt. Rusty Cooper said.

The series of incidents all began to unfold at 7:40 p.m. with a call to the Mohave County Sheriff's Office. MCSO deputies responded to a residence in the 4400 block of North Willow Street to a report of a stolen vehicle, said Public Information Specialist Trish Carter. The victim reported a relative had taken the victim's 2002 white Chevrolet extended cab truck without permission, Carter added. The MCSO sent an attempt to locate out to all local law enforcement agencies.

At approximately 8 p.m., the vehicle was located by the KPD. In a high-risk traffic stop, three KPD officers and one MCSO deputy boxed the truck in in the southbound lanes of Stockton Hill Road approaching the Andy Devine Avenue intersection, Cooper said.

KPD Detective Todd Foster exited his vehicle and began delivering commands to the driver and lone occupant of the truck, Cooper said. At that point, the driver backed the vehicle into a KPD patrol car before hitting an unmarked KPD car in front, Cooper said.

While the vehicle accelerated toward Foster, the detective fired multiple shots into the vehicle, hitting Demko at least twice, Cooper said.

The truck then turned eastbound on Andy Devine Avenue before merging onto Interstate 40. Initially heading eastbound, the vehicle often traveled in the median before turning around and heading westbound in the eastbound lanes, Cooper said.

MCSO successfully deployed spike strips at milepost 53. Demko struck an Arizona Department of Public Safety vehicle multiple times before the vehicle came to a rest on the Andy Devine Avenue overpass, Cooper said.

With DPS and MCSO personnel surrounding the vehicle, the suspect refused verbal commands to exit the truck, Cooper said. A Taser was used at least once, along with the deployment of a MCSO K-9, before they were able to remove Demko from the vehicle around 8:40 p.m., Cooper said.

Demko was then transported to KRMC, where he underwent surgery. As of Thursday afternoon, Demko was in stable condition in the intensive care unit at Kingman Regional Medical Center, said Public Relations Director Jamie Taylor.

No phone number was found in the phone book for Demko.

Approximately 50 yards of Stockton Hill Road and Andy Devine Avenue were closed for 12 hours following the incident, Cooper said.

No charges have been files or arrests made in the case so far. DPS is conducting the criminal investigation at the request of the KPD. Multiple requests from the Miner to DPS for information regarding the I-40 apprehension went unanswered on Thursday.

The KPD is conducting an internal administrative review. In the meantime, Foster is on paid administrative leave, which is procedure in officer-involved shootings, Cooper said.