Graphic video shows Phoenix police officer getting shot at gas station

The video shows Nicholas Cowan shooting officer Denise Bruce-Jones and another officer before speeding away from the Phoenix gas station, investigators said.
Published: Apr. 28, 2022 at 5:48 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 28, 2022 at 6:25 PM CDT
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Police released body-camera footage on Thursday afternoon of the shootout between officers and suspect Nicholas Cowan, which left officer Denise Bruce-Jones hospitalized. The graphic video shows Cowan shooting Bruce-Jones and another officer before speeding away from the Phoenix gas station, investigators said.

Cowan’s ex-girlfriend called 911 and said she was at a Marathon gas station on April 14 near Cave Creek and Beardsley roads. She tells a dispatcher to send an ambulance and not the police in the call. She then says Cowan was acting “crazy” and hitting himself with a bat on his head, body, legs and arms. The woman then told the dispatcher he had a cord around his neck.

“I think if the cops show up there, it’s gonna be...I don’t think it’s gonna go good,” the woman said on the 911 call. She then told the dispatcher Cowan had a gun.

In the body-camera footage, Bruce-Jones and another officer were at the gas station talking to the woman. The woman tells Bruce-Jones she sees Cowan’s Prius pull up to the gas station. “Oh my god, that’s him,” the woman said in the video.

Police released body-camera footage on Thursday afternoon of the shootout between officers and suspect Nicholas Cowan.

Cowan’s Prius turns into the gas station and stops a short distance away from Bruce-Jones and the woman standing near the gas station entrance, police said. Bruce-Jones attempts to tell Cowan to get out of the car; then, he starts shooting at officers from inside his vehicle, according to police. Bruce-Jones was hit by the first gunshot and immediately falls to the ground. The other officer immediately ducks behind his patrol car and starts returning fire. Several bullets are seen shattering the gas station’s windows.

More than 15 gunshots are heard as Cowan and the other officer return fire at each other, investigators said. Bruce-Jones is seen lying on the ground. Cowan then drives off with the second officer shooting at his car. The second officer then goes to Bruce-Jones to tend to her injuries.

On Monday, Cowan was released from the hospital and booked into jail that evening on two counts of attempted first-degree murder, among other charges. But during the booking process, officials determined Cowan had to go back to the hospital to be monitored, police said. Cowan was on the run for three days until he was found at a Scottsdale rental property and arrested on April 17.

Bruce-Jones was moved from the hospital to a rehab facility on Friday. She is a 24-year veteran of the Phoenix Police Department. She also has a spouse who’s a Phoenix police officer.

Arizona’s Family spoke with Cowan’s sister, Tara Fitch. “I literally hit the floor. I couldn’t even, not at all. So I kept trying to get a hold of him, trying to get a hold of him,” she said.

Fitch said she spoke to her brother the day before the shooting. She explained he is schizophrenic and bipolar, and that he admitted he was off his medication. She said when police searched an RV park near her home in Prescott, she went to the scene and tried to help.

Fitch explained police called her the Sunday Cowan was barricaded in a Scottsdale apartment. She drove there and was promised she’d get a chance to speak with him. “That his sister drove, terrified, down there so he could see, even if I couldn’t touch you that I’m here and you come out. I did a recording and said this is your sissy. We love you, we will figure it out together. Come out, just come out,” Fitch said.

She hasn’t been able to see or speak to him.