Authorities have concluded that a Kingman police officer was justified in the August 29 shooting death of a citizen. The finding by the Mohave County attorney’s office comes through a review of an independent investigation conducted by the sheriff’s office.
Deputy county attorney Jace Zack said officer Evan Hopper was clearly justified in shooting Paula Phillips after the 35-year-old Kingman woman turned toward him while brandishing a loaded shotgun. Zack said that an autopsy revealed that Phillips was highly intoxicated from alcohol and had also ingested methamphetamine and Oxycodone at the time of the incident.
Zack further noted that Phillips used a cell phone to make a 911 call to police minutes before she was killed, telling a dispatcher that a vehicle matching the description of the one she was driving was loaded with AK-47’s and shotguns and driving erratically.
Phillips was standing outside her vehicle when Hopper arrived to conduct a welfare check at 10:38 p.m. The investigation concluded that Phillips ignored Hopper’s commands and was shot at least three times.
Zack concluded that facts of the case strongly suggest Phillips was intending to commit “suicide by cop.”