Officials on Thursday released video from a fatal officer-involved shooting in Buckeye in 2016 that occurred as officers responded to reports that a man had shot his wife. A review determined the officers were justified in the shooting, according to a May 30 letter sent from the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office to the Buckeye Police Department. Police were called to a house near Wayland Drive and 238th Avenue in Buckeye on June 25, 2016, after receiving a call from California that 30-year-old William Ferguson had fatally shot his wife, 36-year-old Breanne Ferguson, according to the Buckeye Police Department. A “heavily armed” Ferguson approached investigating Officers A. Price and Larry Biffin in a white Dodge pickup before leaving the vehicle and “ambushing the officers with an assault rifle,” police said. The video released Thursday from an officer’s body camera shows the two officers near a police vehicle on a neighborhood street when the pickup truck appears. The officers notice the pickup truck and are talking about the situation, when gunfire erupts. Body-camera footage shows Biffin taking cover behind a patrol vehicle and firing back at Ferguson, discharging numerous rounds. Ferguson’s ambush continued with a second round of gunfire that shattered the window of the patrol vehicle, police said.
Officer Justin Ricks arrived at the scene to assist the officers, firing multiple rounds from his AR-15 patrol rifle at Ferguson and stopping Ferguson’s attack, police said. Ferguson had been shot in the shoulder during the standoff and moments later took his own life, police said. Inside the home, officers found the body of Breanne Ferguson, who had been shot multiple times, as well as two children who were unharmed and taken to safety, police said. Evidence obtained at the scene linked Ferguson to his wife’s death, police said. The children were later placed in the care of family members, police said. The Arizona Department of Public Safety conducted an investigation into the shooting while Buckeye detectives investigated the death of the woman, police said. The officers were placed on a standard three-day administrative leave following the incident, police said. The Buckeye Police Department praised its 2011 policy that issued AR-15 rifles to all officers to have on the street, saying it “proved valuable” in the incident. The delay in releasing the video came at the request of the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, which asked police to wait until the case was resolved before distributing the footage, the Buckeye Police Department said.