Around 2 a.m. Tuesday morning, a self-described member of the New Black Panther Movement, Marc Laquon Payne (aka Ntare Kalid Ali El-Shabazz), targeted three Phoenix police officers, plowing his vehicle into them as they stood outside a convenience store.
Video showed Payne exiting a parking space, circling the parking lot and then accelerating toward the police officers outside a Phoenix QuikTrip. After striking them, his vehicle crashed into a police car then smashed into the front of the store.
The officers survived, although one, a police sergeant, 41, who had 18 years of experience on the force, suffered a broken leg and another, 33, who was on his first day of duty, suffered a head injury; both are expected to recover. The 33-year-old was thrown through the air and hit the glass window of the store, according to The Arizona Republic. The third officer, 36, who had served eight years on the force, jumped to avoid contact, then arrested Payne, although the officer was injured by Payne during the struggle.
Payne is facing three charges of first-degree murder.
Phoenix police chief Joe Yahner was furious, snapping, “”I’m very proud of the men and women of the Phoenix Police Department, and I am outraged by this incident. Our Phoenix police officers were targeted. We have all heard about officers being targeted and ambushed across this nation. But this happened here. This happened in Phoenix. This happened to your Phoenix police officers … They were victims of an unprovoked, violent, intentional attack. These officers could have easily been killed, and I thank God we’re not planning three funerals right now.”
Yahner stated that the sergeant had met the rookie at the store to talk about expectations of performance, The surveillance video shows Payne entering the store’s parking lot and backing into a parking space at 1:45 a.m., where he waited for several minutes before he launched the attack. Yahner said the video proves hat the assault was an intentional act. He said of the officers, “They were very thankful that God was watching them and they’re OK.”
Two clerks inside the QuikTrip were almost hit when Payne’s vehicle crashed into the store.