Mystery continues to surround the human trafficking investigation that led to a wild shootout in Ahwatukee April 11 that claimed the life of a young mother and sent eight others, including four federal agents, to the hospital.
The midmorning shootout began as U.S. Department of Homeland Security agents were trying to serve a search warrant and make the arrest of an unidentified male in the area of 48th Street and Elliott Road.
Agents tried to stop a vehicle to make an arrest in the case. Police say the agents and the suspects shot at each other, exchanging as many as 20 shots.
Five people were in the suspect’s car, including Theresa Juan, in her 20s, of Sells, Arizona, who was fatally shot. News reports said she was not a suspect and her grandparents said she was the mother of a young child.
The four others in the car suffered non-life-threatening injuries and were taken to the hospital, police said.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which oversees Homeland Security investigations, said in a statement that agents shot two suspects.
Four agents were also injured and hospitalized for medical evaluation. Police did not elaborate on the type of injuries sustained by the eight people involved.
TV news footage from the scene showed a bullet-riddled SUV and a huge hole in a homeowners’ backyard wall caused by a bystander’s pickup truck that had been hit by one of the vehicles involved in the shootout.
Published reports said agents had fired when a man in the front seat of the suspect vehicle pulled out an assault rifle.
ICE’s Office of Professional Responsibility is reviewing the incident and declined comment. Phoenix Police are handling the investigation of the incident.