Phoenix cop shoots "impaired" man dead for allegedly throwing rocks, reports say

2 Phoenix cops put on paid leave after one fatally shoots an "impaired" man for allegedly throwing rocks

Published December 28, 2015 3:45PM (EST)

                          (<a href=''>dominikherz</a> via <a href=''>iStock</a>)
(dominikherz via iStock)

A police officer in Phoenix shot a man dead after he allegedly threw rocks at him and another officer, according to an NBC News report.

A local ABC affiliate reported that the victim was "impaired" at the time.  Relatives also say he had been making "suicidal statements."

On Saturday morning, a police spokesperson said Lonnie Niesen, 41, allegedly threw an "object" at a police officer's car at a stop light outside of a precinct headquarters.

The officer called for backup, and followed Niesen into a nearby parking lot, where, according to the police, the impaired man threw rocks at the precinct building.

Niesen reportedly cracked the glass on the front door of the building with a rock. ABC reported that Niesen then threw another rock at a tree, which bounced off and hit a police officer in the hand. The officer responded by opening fire, striking Niesen.

He was taken to a hospital where he died.

The two police officers involved in the killing will be placed on paid administration leave as the department says it will investigate the incident.

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By Ben Norton

Ben Norton is a politics reporter and staff writer at AlterNet. You can find him on Twitter at @BenjaminNorton.

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