Marana Police Chief Terry Rozema released dashcam videos of the Feb. 19 crash, in which Officer Michael Rapiejko, slammed suspect Mario Valencia, who police say fired a shot at officers. Valencia was suspected in a multi-incident crime spree, including stealing a rifle from a Walmart, leading a home invasion, robbing a convenience store and firing a shot at police with the stolen firearm.
Two videos were released, one from the car that struck Valencia and one from a nearby cruiser. The first video shows the dash camera view of the cruiser approaching the suspect. The officer says to the suspect: “You don’t wanna do this, you don’t wanna do this.” He tells the dispatcher that the man has a gun to his neck.
The other video is from the dash camera of a cruiser that speeds past the first cruiser and cuts diagonally across the road heading directly for the suspect. A loud bang is heard and the cruiser’s windshield cracks before the video cuts off.
Valencia was taken to the University of Arizona Medical Center and remained there two days before being transferred to jail, Tucson News Now reported.
Marana Police Chief Terry Rozema said that if Valencia had approached an officer, police “have no choice but to begin firing” at the suspect. “The thought is to take a shot, which would have been completely justified, then he is looking at it as this guy has a high powered rifle. If I miss, he is going to turn and start firing on us and we are at a big disadvantage at that point.”