Phoenix police arrest man accused of robbing bank, shooting at police helicopter

Thirty-seven-year-old Charles Rock, was booked into Maricopa County Jail on Saturday after being released from the hospital.
Published: Apr. 23, 2023 at 12:40 PM EDT
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PHOENIX (AZFamily/Gray News) - Police have arrested a man accused of robbing a bank and then shooting at a police chopper.

Phoenix police were dispatched to a reported armed bank robbery on Thursday. Police said someone inside the bank called 911 and reported the suspect was armed with a rifle and a bomb in his hand. The man, later identified by police as 37-year-old Charles Rock, allegedly left with the money and drove away from the bank.

A police helicopter and a sergeant in an unmarked truck spotted the suspected vehicle on the interstate, according to police. Rock allegedly then got off the interstate and turned into a strip mall where he got out of his vehicle and began shooting at the police helicopter.

It was then that Rock was shot by a police officer, however, he reportedly managed to get back in his car and drive away.

Police reported Rock was detained at a nearby parking lot and taken to the hospital with serious injuries. He was booked into Maricopa County Jail on Saturday after being released from the hospital.

A bomb unit and ATF crews found a homemade bomb in the car Rock was driving, according to police.

Phoenix Police Sgt. Melissa Soliz said no officers were injured during the incident, nor was anyone at the bank.

“We’re very fortunate there were no community members hurt by this,” said Soliz. “This could have gone bad in so many ways.”

Rock faces multiple felony charges including armed robbery with a deadly weapon, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and possession of a weapon by a prohibited person.

“If he had downed that helicopter, he could’ve killed a lot of people,” Alex Rix, a manager of a nearby smoke shop, said. “Honestly, the guy should be considered a domestic terrorist. You had an explosive in your vehicle, like, who has that?”

Rix witnessed the chaos Thursday outside the strip mall where Rock allegedly shot at the police helicopter. She doesn’t believe the charges he faces are enough.

“I hope the guy never sees the light of day again. I know that sounds kind of harsh. A lot of criminals can be rehabilitated but somebody that does that has absolutely zero regard for anybody’s safety,” she said. “He could’ve hurt a lot of people. He could’ve hurt a lot of officers, and I don’t think that man should ever see the light of day again.”