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Detective Fabian Gonzalez

Phoenix Police Department, Arizona

On December 28, 2013, Officer Tylon Wilson and Detective Fabian Gonzalez separately responded to an unknown-trouble call at the BBVA Compass Bank in Phoenix, Arizona. Detective Gonzalez, who is assigned to the Department’s Robbery Unit, had been called out from home earlier that morning on an unrelated robbery investigation. He was still in the area of the robbery scene when he heard the unknown-trouble call come over his police radio and learned that a witness had observed an armed and masked suspect enter the BBVA Compass Bank.  
Officer Wilson, who had just cleared another call in the area of the bank, also responded to the unknown-trouble call. While en-route and close to arrival, he was flagged down by another witness who explained that she had walked into the bank and fled after observing a masked gunman behind the counter. Officer Wilson relayed this information to other responding officers.

Detective Gonzalez arrived on the scene and positioned himself just past the south entrance to the bank. As Officer Wilson arrived at the north entrance, the subject, whose face was covered by a scarf, calmly exited the bank, approached a white car parked in front, and put what appeared to be a bag in the front seat. Before Officer Wilson could exit his patrol vehicle, the subject turned toward him, pointed a .45 caliber semi-auto handgun, and began shooting and advancing toward Officer Wilson’s position. The first round struck the windshield inches from Officer Wilson, who was now exiting the vehicle in an attempt to take cover.  

Detective Gonzalez, who was more than 100 feet south of Officer Wilson’s position, observed the attack on his friend and colleague. Without hesitation, Detective Gonzalez left his position of cover to engage the suspect. From 123 feet, Detective Gonzalez fired his duty weapon at the suspect as the suspect continued to advance on Officer Wilson. Detective Gonzalez fired six rounds at the suspect, fatally ending the threat.

Detective Gonzalez’s heroic actions saved the life of a fellow officer and ended what turned out to be a multistate manhunt for a violent fugitive wanted in connection with the murder of one Mississippi Police Sergeant and wounding of a second officer during a prior bank robbery.