Jun 24, 2013 11:01 AM by Associated Press
PHOENIX (AP) - The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office has concluded that a deputy was justified in killing a 19-year-old burglary suspect armed with a knife nearly a year ago.
The Arizona Republic reports (http://bit.ly/1aHDcui) that the office said this week that the suspect, Joel Edward Smith III, refused orders from several officers to drop the knife.
Authorities said Smith taunted Tempe police on Sept. 13 with the knife, daring them to shoot him, before a final confrontation where Smith refused the deputy's commands to drop the knife as they approached each other.
The deputy said he feared for his life and believed he had no escape route along the Highline Canal, which separates Tempe from Guadalupe. He also said the Tempe officers who witnessed the fatal shooting were on the other side of the canal and unable to help him.