Arizona police shot and killed a young man suspected of committing several robberies over the span of hours — only after they flash-banged him and fired non-lethal bullets in an attempt to get him to turn his gun to hand in.
Mesa Police Department detectives 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 near 1233 North Mesa Drive at the Glen at Mesa apartment complex.
Pride was the prime suspect in a series of thefts: a robbery of a Walgreens the night before, which was followed that day by a robbery of a Dollar General around 9:30 a.m. and a second robbery of the same Walgreens around 12:45 p.m.
He was considered armed and dangerous and was believed to be carrying a gun.
Just after 1:30 p.m., officers encountered Pride, who was walking southbound. As Pride walked, detectives called to him from their patrol car.
Ny’Kendreon Pride, 20, was walking past the Glen at Mesa apartment complex in Arizona when police caught up with him
The young man was the prime suspect in a series of robberies involving a Walgreens and a Dollar General
Police pulled up next to the suspect and ordered him to surrender before using a flash bang, a non-lethal device that produces a huge flash of light
A detective sitting in the rear passenger side gave a bang, while another detective in the front passenger seat shouted for Pride to sit down.
A flashbang, also called a stun grenade, is an explosive device that produces a flash of light and a deafening bang. It is not intended to kill, but to disorient a suspect.
On the surveillance camera, Price, wearing a white hoodie, was seen crossing the street and walking a short distance before police pulled up next to him in a silver SUV.
A huge cloud of smoke erupted as the device hit the ground near his foot and Price jumped, visibly startled.
The methods became increasingly aggressive as he refused to cooperate with law enforcement.
A detective in the backseat fired two bean bags, which are used for the less-lethal apprehension of suspects and are not intended to kill.
At the same time, the detective in the front seat fired several rounds from his gun. The detective saw Pride reach for what he thought was a gun before using his service weapon.
Pride fell to the ground as he tried to flee with the gun in his hand and was hit by the bullets.
The moment the flash bang hit the ground was captured by a surveillance camera
Detective Brandi George held a press conference after the suspect was fatally shot by an officer
He had a gun with him, which he refused to drop, when the officer opened fire
The young man was ordered several times to drop the weapon, but did not respond. Eventually, the detectives got out of the car and forcibly took the gun away before arresting him.
The Mesa Fire Department took Pride to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead just after 2 p.m.
Mesa Drive was closed for several hours while detectives collected evidence and spoke to witnesses.
Detective Brandi George, public information officer for the Mesa Police Department, spoke with members of the media.
She explained that the officer who shot Price was a Mesa police officer operating under the umbrella of the U.S. Marshals Task Force.
Under the procedure, he would be placed on administrative leave for three days and would have to see a psychologist before returning to work.
She also offered words of reassurance to those living in the Glen at Mesa apartment complex.
“We have the one person we were looking for and there is no further threat to anyone in the apartment complex in connection with this series of armed robberies or the suspect that has not yet been identified,” she said. “We got everyone involved.”
Mesa Drive was closed for hours while investigators collected evidence and spoke to witnesses
Shandi Wright lives nearby and said the Walgreens where she worked was robbed by the suspect earlier that morning
Shandi Wright, who lives nearby, said she was shocked by the violence that unfolded 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 nerve-wracking to come out and see so many police,” she said FOX 10.
Unknowingly, Wright’s workplace was targeted by Price that morning and was taped off when she arrived.
‘We have been robbed. It was at gunpoint, and the young lady that it happened to is at home, she’s safe, but pretty shaken up, from what I understand,” Wright said.
The shooting happened on the first day of school. Fortunately, her son’s bus was diverted away from the stop.
“This would have been incredibly traumatic,” she said, “for our children to stop here and see all this.”
No other injuries were reported.