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2 arrested in killing of (Phoenix) officer investigating bad-check case

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  • 2 arrested in killing of (Phoenix) officer investigating bad-check case


    Authorities say they plan to seek the death penalty against Edward James Rose and Norma Lisa Lopez in the fatal shooting of Phoenix police Officer George Cortez Jr. 23.

    Chelsea Schneider, Lynh Bui and Jennifer Price
    The Arizona Republic
    Jul. 28, 2007 09:04 PM

    Prosecutors will seek the death penalty for a 20-year-old man and his girlfriend accused in the death of a Phoenix police officer gunned down Friday.

    Edward James Rose and Norma Lisa Lopez, 19, were formally charged Saturday night with first degree murder, burglary and forgery in connection with the death of Officer George Cortez Jr., 23. Neither are eligible for bond.

    Cortez was investigating a report of an attempted forgery at Southwest Check Cashing near 83rd Avenue and Encanto Boulevard when an already bad day for the city got even worse, Mayor Phil Gordon said.


    Police say the pair tried to cash a bad check at the store, and the teller summoned police.

    When Cortez arrived, he approached Rose and began to handcuff the man when Rose took out a weapon and allegedly shot Cortez at least twice. Rose and Lopez then fled. They were taken into custody Saturday morning at 5:30 in the West Valley, said Commander Chris Crockett.

    "It's a tragedy that words just can't address," Gordon said. "This community is strong. This community is coming together. . . . We got a great city, and we'll go forward from this tragedy and be stronger."

    Amid the first line-of-duty death of a Phoenix police officer since November 2005 are questions of what exactly happened the night Cortez died. Crockett would not comment on where Cortez was shot or whether a bullet-resistant vest would have helped. Police also wouldn't comment on the relationship between Rose and Lopez.

    Cortez was rushed to St. Joseph's Hospital, where he died shortly after.

    The weary duo of Police Chief Jack Harris and Gordon appeared at a press conference after 11:30 p.m. Friday to mourn the death.

    "My colleagues and I are here tonight to mourn over the loss of a hero," Gordon said. "Officers go out every day to protect us; we offer our condolences to the father and the mother and the family."

    Just hours earlier, they had appeared before reporters after two Valley television news helicopters collided as the crews followed a Phoenix police pursuit of a vehicle thief. Four people, two working for Channel 3 (KTVK) and two for Channel 15 (KNXV), were killed.

    Cortez was remembered by his colleagues as a friendly man, who was well-liked among his peers. He joined the Phoenix Police Department two years ago and had recently been assigned to the Maryvale precinct. He had also worked at South Mountain and Cactus Park precincts.

    Commander Joe Yahner, who worked with Cortez at the Maryvale precinct, remembered the young officer as very productive and dedicated to his work. Yahner said he is now concentrating on helping Cortez's wife and two young children, whom he described as very distraught.

    "There are no great words of wisdom when a tragic accident happens," Yahner said. "(Cortez) really enjoyed the job and had planned to be here a long time."

    A bouquet of yellow lilies lay at the entrance of the check-cashing store, while miles away the American flag waved at half-staff outside of the Maryvale precinct.

    Investigators combed the scene Saturday to collect evidence. Officers finished reviewing the scene at 2 p.m., tearing down the yellow crime tape surrounding the parking lot of the strip mall where the shooting occurred.

  • #2
    Two arrested in death of Phoenix Police Officer



    Slain Phoenix Police Officer George Cortez Jr. and his wife, Tiffany, and sons Koltan and Gunner.

    Comment


    • #3
      Another of St Michael's children lost in a tragic set of circumstances. Thank you brother for your dedication and service. Rest in peace!
      Last edited by SgtCHP; 07-30-2007, 01:23 PM.
      Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence!

      [George Washington (1732 - 1799)]

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      • #4
        http://forums.officer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=70883

        Prayers for his family and the PPD family.
        -918-

        Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness. James 3:18

        Clinging to my guns and religion since 1975

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        • #5
          May God hold you close. Rest in peace my brother.

          Bulldog

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          • #6
            Seeing the picture of the family and imagining them without their husband/father sent chills down my spine. I hope they will be OK.

            I hope they get the death penalty for Rose.

            Comment


            • #7
              This is a terrible tragedy. I hope that these people feel the full force of the law and the horror of knowing their lives are now forfeit for this horrible crime.

              I agree Feanor. Seeing those children and thinking about their lives knowing their father died like this is just heartwrenching.
              -I don't feel you honor someone by creating a physical gesture (the salute). You honor them by holding them in memory and, in law enforcement, proceeding in vigilant, ethical police work. You honor this country or deceased soldiers or whatever you're honoring when you salute a flag by thinking, feeling, and continuing a life of freedom.

              --ArkansasRed24

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              • #8
                Rot slowly, morons


                My sincere condolences to the family of the fallen hero.

                A man should never be ashamed to own that he has been in the wrong, which is but saying... that he is wiser today than yesterday. Jonathan Swift 1667-1745

                It's only a conspiracy when your party is not in power.

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                • #9
                  The fact that the death penalty is in question is sickening. When I am president bills will be introduced to take scum like this in the woods, paralyze them from the neck down and leave them for dead.
                  Marine Infantry - Taking out the trash one country at a time.

                  "You cannot exaggerate about the Marines. They are convinced to the point of arrogance, that they are the most ferocious fighters on earth- and the amusing thing about it is that they are."

                  "Freedom is not free, but the U.S. Marine Corps will pay most of your share."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Officer's accused killer allegedly gave cop's handcuffs to girlfriend
                    http://www.azcentral.com/news/articl...dcuffs-ON.html
                    Lindsey Collom
                    The Arizona Republic
                    Jul. 30, 2007 12:36 PM
                    One of two suspects in the recent murder of a Phoenix police officer told investigators that her co-defendant boyfriend gave her the officer's handcuffs to keep as a "souvenir," court records show.

                    Norma Lisa Lopez, 19, and Edward James Rose, 20, have been charged with murder, burglary and forgery in connection with the shooting death of Officer George Cortez Jr. at a west Phoenix check cashing facility Friday.

                    Officers found the pair huddled in a closet early Saturday morning at a home in the 6700 block of West Pioneer St., roughly five miles away from where the murder took place. A witness had disclosed their location to police, court records indicate.




                    Records also showed that Lopez had the officer's severed handcuffs in her pocket when she was arrested. Rose, the suspected triggerman, had cut a cuff from his wrist and given her the pair.

                    Police said the officer only managed to cuff one wrist before Rose drew and handgun and shot him in the shoulder and face about 8:30 p.m. Friday. Cortez, 23, had responded to the check cashing store on reports of a forgery in progress.

                    A Phoenix police commander said Cortez's funeral will be Friday, but details were not yet finalized by late Monday morning.

                    Cortez, a two-year Phoenix police officer, is survived by his wife, Tiffany, and sons Koltan, 4, and Gunner, 2.
                    -918-

                    Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness. James 3:18

                    Clinging to my guns and religion since 1975

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      It's horrible to hear of another officer dying in the line of duty. You guys are lucky that you have the death penalty. Here, those guys would be out after 10 years, maybe even less. Rest in peace, and for the rest of you, stay safe, and thank you for your service.
                      Never argue with idiots - they just drag you down to their level, then beat you with experience.

                      Chaos, Panic and Disorder....my work here is done!

                      As her tears fell at his feet, she didn't say "I Love You," what she said meant even more: I laugh, I love, I hope, I tried. I hurt, I need, I fear, I cry and I know you do the same things too. So we're really not that different, me and you.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I work for Phoenix and I was out there looking for the chud that night....the day started off bad enough when those news choppers crashed and some idiot reporter started questioning our pursuit policy and then to come in and before my shift even started the 999 (Officer needs help NOW) comes out.....was nice to see that not only Phoenix Officers out there but Glendale PD, Dept of Public Safety (State Police) and Maricopa County Sheriff's Office were all out there with us looking for this P.O.S. We finally caught him 0530 Saturday morning and the little bastard had a smile on his face when they took him out of the house....I hope he rots in hell

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Rest in Peace George

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            To often so horrible a price is paid, and for nothing. A man is dead for a few hours of freedom. Senseless.

                            When I being to doubt the efficacy of the death penalty, human debris such as these two murderers remind me why I support the ultimate punishment.
                            "A fanatic is one who won't change his mind, and won't change the subject." -Winston Churchill

                            "I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts." -Will Rogers

                            "To desire to save these wolves in society may arise from benevolence, but it must be the benevolence of a child or a fool" -Henry Fielding

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by xraodcop View Post

                              "There are no great words of wisdom when a tragic accident happens," Yahner said. "(Cortez) really enjoyed the job and had planned to be here a long time."
                              I think it does this fallen brother a disservice, and casts this human trash in too good a light by using the word accident....this was no accident. We should consider carefully the words we use, for those who do not know better may fail to understand the detestable nature of these criminals when we use such soft language.
                              "A fanatic is one who won't change his mind, and won't change the subject." -Winston Churchill

                              "I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts." -Will Rogers

                              "To desire to save these wolves in society may arise from benevolence, but it must be the benevolence of a child or a fool" -Henry Fielding

                              Comment

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