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Gunman opened fire on federal officer in ambush near court

PHOENIX — A gunman in a car opened fire on a federal security officer who was inspecting another vehicle outside the U.S. courthouse in Phoenix, according to court documents released Wednesday.

The criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court accused James Lee Carr of being the shooter Tuesday and says he felt the federal officer “was harassing him.”

The officer was struck in a protective vest and is expected to recover, city police and the FBI said. The gunman fled and called his family, who took away his weapons and alerted authorities.

According to the complaint, the officer was inspecting a UPS truck for entry at the courthouse when someone in a car yelled, “Hey,” and then opened fire. Carr is accused of firing three shots.

One struck the officer, who returned fire, shooting roughly eight rounds as the driver fled in a silver Cadillac.

It was not immediately known if Carr had an attorney to comment on his behalf.

Carr called his brother and said he was sitting in a park and “wanted to die because he shot the security guard,” according to the complaint.

The brother called Carr’s son and ex-wife, who found him at the park with a revolver and rifle, the complaint says. The family was able to get the weapons away from him and called 911.

His son said Carr told him that he “snapped and shot a security guard … because the security guard was harassing him,” the complaint says. The son indicated that his father had mental health issues.

Carr was charged with using a weapon to assault a federal officer and another weapons charge.

Terry Tang, The Associated Press

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