Phoenix police officer fighting for life after being shot multiple times, suspect in custody, department says

The officer graduated from the police academy in March and celebrated his 22nd birthday last month

A Phoenix police officer continues to fight for his life after he was shot multiple times Tuesday by a suspect now in custody, authorities said. 

Tyler Moldovan, 22, and other officers were initially responding to calls reporting a vehicle driving erratically and doing donuts near 19th Avenue and Camelback Road around 2 a.m.


Phoenix police officer Tyler Moldovan, 22, was shot multiple times Tuesday. He graduated from the police academy in March.  (Phoenix Police Department )

He was assisting in a search for the driver at an apartment complex. As officers were searching, they spotted Essa Williams, 24, hiding behind a wall in an apartment patio, Phoenix police Sgt. Vincent Cole said. 

Moldovan issued commands to Williams before he was fired upon, Cole said. 

Moldovan was struck several times and taken to a hospital where he remains in critical condition. Williams was being booked into the Maricopa County jail on charges of attempted first-degree murder, possession of a weapon by prohibited by a person and resisting arrest.

"Tyler is doing exactly what we expect our police officers to do, and that's fight," Police Chief Jeri Williams said. "This kind of incident sends shock waves throughout our entire Valley. There are no words when this kind of incident happens."

Essa Williams (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)

No officers fired their weapons and a handgun was found at the scene. Investigators are reviewing Moldovan's body-worn camera, Cole said. 

Moldovan graduated from the police academy in March and celebrated his 22nd birthday last month. 

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said the state is praying for his recovery. 


"Arizona is pulling for Officer Tyler Moldovan and our prayers are with his family and loved ones," he tweeted. "Law enforcement professionals put their lives on the line every day to protect our communities, and this terrible shooting is another example of the danger they face to keep us safe."

Several nearby law enforcement agencies also tweeted their well-wishes for the young officer.