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Arizona's Noon News & Karie Dozer

Final Word: Phoenix officer knew risks and we thank him for taking them

We are getting details about the shootout Monday that resulted in the death of a Phoenix police pfficer.

Detective John Hobbs was working, undercover, with a partner, who was also shot, surveilling a suspect who had recently been released from prison. He was wanted in connection with an attempted murder last month.

This is the stuff the police dramas are about and for good reason.

We say it all the time but it is days like this that you actually FEEL it when you hear that police officers put their lives on the line every day.

Did you consider this morning the possibility that you might get shot before dinner? I didn't think so.

Detective Hobbs was watching his suspect, William Ray Thornton, who got out of his car near 43rd Avenue and Bethany Home Road.

Hobbs gave chase. He wasn't wearing a protective vest. There wasn't time.

Being undercover means the bad guys don't know who you are. It also means you don't raise any suspicion, even by the neighbors or the guy who pours your coffee.

NO matter, Detective Hobbs chased anyway.

He knew that Thornton was bad news and wouldn't think twice of taking a life while getting away. He went after him, just like we expect him to do.

Thornton shot Hobbs and his partner, mortally wounding Detective Hobbs.

Again, no matter. Hobbs shot back. He wasn't about to let the bad guy get away, even if he knew he could die.

And he got his guy -- Thornton died at the scene.

Detective Hobbs died later at St. Joseph's, where his parter was also taken. The partner, who hasn't been identified, is now in stable condition.

Detective John Hobbs, 43, had a wife. He had three children. He was just doing his job.

And because he did, one bad guy won't get the chance to do any more harm.

What an awful trade.

Peace, Officer Hobbs.

Peace to your partner and his family as well.

Phoenix thanks you.

About the Author


Karie Dozer is host of Arizona's Noon News.

She has been an on-air personality nearly continually since her college days. She loves radio because it is intelligent, immediate and almost always available.

She is the youngest of nine children from a Midwestern Catholic family where she learned to be heard, fight for a place at the table and find humor in almost everything. She was hired as a news intern while a senior at ASU's Cronkite School, and found that covering human stories like the OJ Simpson white Bronco chase and the 1992-93 Phoenix Suns was too much fun to pass up.

She loved life in the newsroom with all the action and crazy personalities to go with it. She anchored and covered some sports too, until politics dragged her away. She served as press secretary for Arizona's Attorney General Grant Woods for a five-year stint before jumping back to radio on a part-time basis. Three years ago she got back in the biz on a more regular basis as a midday host on what is now KTAR News. She has a passion for the breaking news of the moment, education, local politics, great food, sports and fitness. She has trouble turning down a good argument, a good book or a good glass of wine.

In her spare time she takes care of her boys, (husband Rich, son Jack, and yellow lab Buddy,) and bakes awesome chocolate chip cookies. She enjoys the quality of life the Valley offers her family and the natural beauty of Arizona. Her favorite places are golf courses, her own kitchen, the city of Flagstaff, and wherever her family is.

She considers herself lucky to work with the amazingly talented people of KTAR radio.

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