An Arizona police officer shot a sexual assault and kidnapping suspect who charged at him with two bayonets, police said.
Officer Daniel Garcia opened fire on James Nicholas Pacheco Monday as the crazed man ran towards him armed with two long knives — one in each hand, police said.
Garcia, a six-year Tucson department vet, responded to an intersection in the city’s Midtown neighborhood after getting a report of a “wanted individual” and found Pacheco, 37, and a female acquaintance, authorities said.
Both Pacheco and the woman, who was not publicly identified, then ran off.
“The officer gave chase into the desert area where he confronted the suspect,” department officials said in a statement. “During the confrontation, the suspect brandished two bayonets (large knives typically attached to military rifles) and began charging toward the officer.”
Garcia responded by discharging his firearm, striking the man.
Pacheco was taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries, police said. He was listed in stable condition Tuesday, Tucson police spokesman Sgt. Richard Gradillas told The Post.
The woman with Pacheco was also questioned by police, but she was not arrested and is considered to be a witness in the case, Gradillas said.
“The investigation is still open, so we are limiting her involvement until after the case is closed,” Gradillas wrote in an email.
Pacheco, of Tucson, had been sought by cops for an alleged kidnapping and sexual assault that occurred Friday, police said.
Once he’s released from a hospital, Pacheco will be charged with kidnapping, sexual assault and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer, authorities said.
An internal investigation into the officer-involved shooting is ongoing. Garcia was on administrative leave Tuesday as the probe continues, Gradillas said. No other injuries were reported.
The length of the knives Pacheco had in his hands was unclear, Gradillas said.