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Kingman officer-involved shooting in August found to be justified

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Posted at 4:57 PM, Oct 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-13 02:28:12-04

The Mohave County Attorney's Office found that a Kingman police officer-involved shooting in August was justified.

The shooting involved Kingman police Officer Evan Hopper that occurred around 10:40 p.m. Aug. 29 that resulted in the death of 35-year-old Paula Phillips of Kingman.
 
The shooting investigation involving Hopper and Phillips was sent to the Mohave County Attorney’s Office for criminal review, which found the shooting justified.
 
The autopsy report found that Phillips had been drinking alcohol and ingesting methamphetamine and Oxycodone and her blood alcohol content was .198 percent. Phillips initially brought attention to herself by calling 911 -- received by the Mohave County Sheriff's Office -- to report a vehicle matching hers to be driving on Stockton Hill Road with AK-4s and shotguns.

Another motorist called 911 -- received by the Kingman Police Department -- to report a similar vehicle driving erratically on Stockton Hill Road. The attorney's report stated a short time later, Hopper came across the vehicle, which was stationary in the middle of the roadway on Broadway near Stockton Hill Road.  

Phillips was standing outside her vehicle, looking confused, with a “weird smile,” according to the report. As Hopper approached, Phillips got a shotgun out of her vehicle and turned towards the officer with the shotgun, the report stated.

Phillips ignored commands from the officer, according to the report. Hopper fired four rounds, three striking Phillips and one striking the shotgun. The report stated the fact a bullet struck the shotgun indicates it was between Phillips and Hopper when he fired.  

"The conduct of Paula Phillips that day –- obtaining a shotgun, consuming alcohol and powerful illegal drugs, calling 911 to bring attention to herself, brandishing a shotgun at an officer –- strongly suggests she was intent upon committing 'suicide by cop,'" the report concludes.