Harrowing video shows car running down Phoenix officers in ‘intentional’ act

PHOENIX — Three Phoenix police officers are recovering after being run down by a car in what authorities say was a targeted act. The incident was captured in harrowing security video released by Phoenix police.

“They were victims of an unprovoked, violent, intentional attack,” Phoenix police chief Joe Yahner said at a Tuesday news conference, reports CBS affiliate KPHO. “These officers could have easily been killed, and I thank God we’re not planning three funerals right now.”

WARNING: Graphic video

Police say 44-year-old Marc LaQuon Payne was the car’s driver and will face three charges of attempted first-degree murder, and two counts of aggravated assault.

Two officers were struck around 2 a.m. Tuesday as they stood in a convenience store’s parking lot. A third officer jumped out of the way, but was injured in a struggle while arresting Payne.

Authorities say the car Payne was driving struck a police vehicle and then crashed into the store. Police say the driver’s impairment may have been a factor.

An 18-year police veteran suffered a broken leg, another veteran officer had minor injuries and a third officer had a head injury on his first day of training. The video shows one of the officers who was struck being tossed into the air by the impact.

“I am outraged by this incident,” said Yahner. “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.”