Arizona police shot and killed a young man suspected of carrying out several robberies in a span of hours – only after they blitzed him with a flashbang and fired non-lethal rounds in an attempt to get him to surrender his weapon.
Detectives from the Mesa Police Department and members of the U.S. Marshals Arizona Wanted Task Force were searching for 20-year-old Ny’Kendreon Pride on August 3.
They spotted him in the area of 1233 North Mesa Drive by the Glen at Mesa apartment complex.
Pride was the prime suspect in a string of thefts: a robbery at a Walgreens the previous night, which was followed by a robbery at a Dollar General around 9.30am that day and a second robbery at the same Walgreens around 12.45pm.
He was considered armed and dangerous and was thought to be carrying a handgun.
Just after 1.30pm, officers encountered Pride, who was walking southbound. As Pride was walking, detectives called to him from their patrol car.
Ny’Kendreon Pride, 20, was walking by the Glen at Mesa apartment complex in Arizona when police caught up with him
The young man was the prime suspect in a string of robberies that targeted a Walgreens and a Dollar General
Police pulled up alongside the suspect and commanded him to surrender before using a flashbang, a non-lethal device that causes an enormous flash of light
A detective riding in the rear passenger side threw a flashbang while another detective sitting in the front passenger seat yelled for Pride to get down.
A flashbang, also known as a stun grenade, is an explosive device that causes a flash of light and a deafening bang. It is not meant to kill but to disorient a suspect.
On surveillance camera, Price, wearing a white hoodie, was seen crossing the street and walked some distance before police pulled up alongside him in a silver SUV.
A huge billow of smoke erupted as the device hit the ground right by his foot and Price jumped, visibly startled.
Methods turned increasingly aggressive as he refused to cooperate with law enforcement.
A detective in the backseat fired two bean bag rounds, which are used for the less lethal apprehension of suspects and not designed to kill.
Simultaneously, the front seat detective fired several rounds from his rifle. The detective saw Pride reaching for what he believed to be a gun before using his duty weapon.
Pride toppled to the ground as he tried to flee with the gun in his hand and was hit by the rounds.
The moment the flashbang hit the ground was caught on surveillance camera
Detective Brandi George held a press conference after the suspect was fatally shot by one officer
He was carrying a handgun, which he refused to drop, when the officer opened fire
The young man was ordered to drop the weapon several times but did not respond. Eventually, detectives got out of the car and forcibly took the handgun before arresting him.
The Mesa Fire Department took Pride to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead just after 2pm.
Mesa Drive was shut down for several hours while detectives collected evidence and spoke to witnesses.
Detective Brandi George, public information officer for Mesa Police Department, spoke with members of the media.
She explained that the officer who fatally shot Price was a Mesa Police officer acting under the umbrella of the U.S. Marshals Task Force.
As was procedure, he would be placed on a three-day administrative leave and would have to speak to a psychologist prior to returning to work.
She also provided words of reassurance to people living in the Glen at Mesa apartment complex.
‘We do have the only person we were looking for and there is no further threat to anybody in the apartment complex related to this series of armed robberies or the suspect being outstanding,’ she said. ‘We have everyone involved.’
Mesa Drive was closed for hours while detectives collected evidence and spoke to witnesses
Shandi Wright lives in the area and said the Walgreens she worked at had been robbed by the suspect earlier that morning
Shandi Wright, who lives nearby, said she was shaken by the violence that had played out right next to her son’s bus stop.
She said she had lived in the area for seven years and felt fairly safe walking alone at night, but lately, things had changed. The shooting didn’t do much to quell her nerves.
‘It was a little unnerving to come out and see so many police,’ she told FOX 10.
Unknowingly, Wright’s workplace had been targeted by Price that morning and was taped off when she arrived.
‘We were robbed. It was at gunpoint, and the young lady that happened to, she is at home, she is safe, but pretty shaken up, from what I understood,’ Wright said.
The shooting happened on the first day of school. Luckily, her son’s bus was rerouted away from the stop.
‘This would have been incredibly traumatic,’ she said, ‘for our kids to pull up and see all this.’
No other injuries were reported.