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Glendale officer, suspect ID'd in fatal shooting

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A pickup truck and SUV show signs of an officer-involved shooting in Glendale on Thursday morning. (Source: CBS 5 News) A pickup truck and SUV show signs of an officer-involved shooting in Glendale on Thursday morning. (Source: CBS 5 News)
Witnesses in the parking lot reported hearing as many as 12 shots.  (Source: CBS 5 News) Witnesses in the parking lot reported hearing as many as 12 shots. (Source: CBS 5 News)
(Source: CBS 5 News) (Source: CBS 5 News)
GLENDALE, AZ (CBS5) -

A man wanted on a felony warrant was shot and killed after ramming officers' unmarked vehicles in a shopping complex parking lot Thursday morning.

Stephen Wayne Ross, 43, was shot multiple times as he tried to escape from authorities who were serving warrants for his arrest.

No officer was wounded, said Glendale police officer Tracey J. Breeden.

Ross had outstanding felony warrants for dangerous drugs and aggravated identity theft and forgery, and had a history of fleeing from police, Breeden said.

Breeden said the task force was also actively looking for Stephen Ross' twin brother, Michael Ross, because both brothers had outstanding warrants for their arrest.

The shooting happened in the parking lot of a shopping area anchored by a Safeway store about 10 a.m. near 59th Avenue and Thunderbird Road.

Police said a fugitive task force was attempting to serve a warrant when the suspect rammed some unmarked police cars and at least one officer opened fire.

Glendale officials said undercover Detective Jim Carlo fired at the suspect, but that they would not yet confirm the actual number of shooters until interviews, including with some U.S. Marshals, are completed.

Carlo is an 18-year veteran with the Glendale Police Department and was placed on administrative leave per department policy, Breeden said.

CBS 5 News spoke with witnesses in the parking lot who reported as many as 12 shots were fired.

Roger Pippins grabbed his friend's phone and started rolling, but not until after he had already heard one round of shots. He said he realized undercover cops were trying to keep the driver of the vehicle from getting away.

"They shot like eight shots or nine shots, and then they stopped, saw what the person was going to do and then they started shooting again," Pippins told CBS 5 News.

Burning rubber from the suspect's truck sent a massive amount of smoke billowing in the air. It's unclear if his foot got stuck on the gas peddle after he was hit but police say even after undercover officers had him pinned, he reportedly rammed their cars and tried to take off.

"It was just in awe to see that guy wanting to get away that bad. It was that like desperate really," Pippins said.

People at the various stores in the busy shopping center heard the commotion but had no idea what was going on.

"I had my girlfriend here with my 2-month-old baby and kind of scared me a little bit," said Chris Matthias.

Glendale police said they always take innocent bystanders into consideration in public places and rely on their training and judgment. But they note that if a suspect is posing a threat to them, that suspect could also be a threat to the public.

"If you let them flee there's a chance they're going to get away and there's a chance they may harm somebody in fleeing," Breeden said.

Police also confirmed that more than one officer fired their weapon at the suspect.

Sources told CBS 5 News that while they did find a gun in the suspect's truck, there is no indication the suspect fired on officers.

Stay with cbs5az.com and CBS 5 News as this story develops.

Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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