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Suspect, officer who shot him in Jan. 15 incident identified

The Pima Regional Critical Incident Team identified a man who was hospitalized after a Tucson police officer shot him Jan. 15 at a Prudence Road apartment complex. Photo via Google Earth.
Posted at 12:32 PM, Jan 26, 2023

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — The Pima Regional Critical Incident Team identified a man who was hospitalized after a Tucson police officer shot him Sunday, Jan. 15 at a Prudence Road apartment complex.

According to the team, police responded to the complex at 11 p.m. that night, after 21-year-old Elijah Dixon called 911 and said he would kill himself. Dispatchers transferred him to mental health professionals.

Police learned Dixon had a gun, and started searching for him. Police found him in the parking lot and told him to drop the gun.

Officers says Dixon ran away and headed through the complex toward Prudence Road, where other officers were waiting,

Dixon was wearing a tactical vest and holding two guns.

K-9 Officer Matthew Merz shot Dixon, who was treated in the hospital and remains in critical condition.

Merz is a 23-year veteran of the force. He was placed on paid leave pending investigation.

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Phil Villarreal is the senior real-time editor for KGUN 9. He is also a digital producer and host of "Phil on Film" seen weekly on Good Morning Tucson, Phil moved to KGUN after 17 years with the Arizona Daily Star. He is married and has four children. Share your story ideas and important issues with Phil by emailing phil.villarreal@kgun9.com or by connecting on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.