Released bodycam footage captures Tucson police shooting of armed man

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Snippets of body-camera footage depicting a Tucson police shooting that occurred on Jan. 15 were released on Friday by the Pima Regional Critical Incident Team.

The team released a critical incident briefing that said officers responded to the area of Prudence Road and 22nd Street at about 11 p.m. after receiving a call from a man, whom police identified as 21-year-old Elijah Dixon, talking about ending his life.

The briefing included 911 audio of Dixon saying he should have died in 2022 and that someone brought him back to life. Dixon tells the 911 dispatcher that he had two 9 mm handguns. Dixon's phone call was later transferred to mental health professionals who relayed information to officers, including the fact that he was armed.

Officers responded to an apartment complex in the area, where they found Dixon carrying a handgun in the parking lot. Officers ordered him to drop the gun before he fled while firing a single shot in an unknown direction, police said.

The briefing states Dixon ran "east to west" through the complex toward Prudence Road. More officers responded to the area when a man identified to be Dixon can be seen emerging from the complex wearing a tactical vest and holding two handguns.

Body-camera footage shows the officers telling the man to drop his weapon. The next sequence shows the perspective of the officer who shot the man while taking cover by the apartment's fence.

An officer fired his rifle, striking and incapacitating Dixon. Officers then rendered first aid before he was taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries. He remained at the hospital as of Friday and was no longer in critical condition.

Dixon can be heard screaming moments after the shooting.

The briefing identifies the officer who shot the man as Matthew Merz, a 23-year veteran with the Tucson Police Department.

The Pima County Regional Incident Team will investigate the shooting and present its findings to the Pima County Attorney's Office for review as per protocol.

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