Judi Villa, Lindsey Collom and John Faherty
The Arizona Republic
Sept. 19, 2007 12:00 AM
R.I.P. Our prayers go out for the officer and his family.
When We will enough be enough?
Phoenix police Officer Nick Erfle survived two bouts of cancer to put back on his uniform and patrol the city's streets. Erfle had been an officer for eight years. He was pronounced dead at 9:30 a.m. He was a husband and a father of two boys ages 3 and 5.
On Tuesday, a jaywalker shot him in the face and killed him. Martinez shoved Erfle to the ground, pulled a gun and fired multiple times. Police said it all happened in a matter of seconds.
The illegal offender didn't have identification but gave officers a name and birth date that Erfle ran through a police computer. That search turned up a misdemeanor warrant for shoplifting out of Tucson.
Police would later find out the man hadn't given his real name. Martinez likely used an alias because he was trying to hide the fact he had felony warrants for aggravated assault and false imprisonment, stemming from a 2006 domestic-violence incident.
The gunman, an illegal immigrant who had been deported last year, fled after shooting Erfle, commandeering a stopped car at gunpoint and ordering the motorist to drive. About an hour later, a Phoenix police tactical team surrounded Erik Jovani Martinez, 22, on a west Phoenix street and shot him dead as he pointed a gun at the hostage. The hostage was not hurt.
Martinez, who had three children, was a gang member with a history of drug abuse, police say. He was convicted of theft in 2004 and served a short stint in prison in 2006. Immigration officials confirmed he had been deported in March 2006.
Still the silence.