Phoenix, Community Gather Around Family of 22-Year-Old Officer, as He Remains in Critical Condition

Phoenix, Community Gather Around Family of 22-Year-Old Officer, as He Remains in Critical Condition
Officer Tyler Moldovan. Credit: Phoenix Police Department

As conservatives, we often talk about showing support for our service members and first responders, including law enforcement officers who in recent years have borne the weight of abuse and threats of budget cuts from blue state city officials and their corresponding activist governors. In recent months, though, as RedState has reported, some of them have even woken up a little on the downsides to that.

In this season of hope, especially, it’s wonderful to see positive signs from our fellow Americans when it matters most — through their actions, not just their words. Here is one story from my hometown this week.

Tyler Moldovan joined the Phoenix Police Department just a year-and-a-half ago, according to KTVK/KPHO. In fact, he’s only been out of training and on the beat for a few months, Now, the 22-year-old police officer is fighting for his life.

On Tuesday morning, Tyler was responding to a 9-1-1 call about several “vehicles driving erratically.” But it led to a situation in which a repeat, violent offender, once cornered, appears to have decided he would try to evade arrest by pumping a hailstorm of bullets into the officer.


In a press release Tuesday afternoon, Phoenix Police Sgt. Vincent Cole, says after 2 a.m. officers received multiple calls about vehicles driving erratically near 19th Avenue and Camelback Road. Officers found a car matching one of the descriptions with a vehicle parked in an apartment complex near 15th Avenue and Camelback. Cole says no one was in the car so officers started to search the area.

“Officer Moldovan found the suspect hiding behind a short wall of an apartment patio. Officer Moldovan began giving commands to the suspect, who then pulled out a gun and began shooting. Officer Moldovan was struck by multiple bullets.”

When officers heard the shooting, they ran in that direction and were able to take the suspect, later identified as 24-year-old Essa Williams, into custody. Sgt. Cole said investigators found a gun near where Williams was arrested. Moldovan was rushed to St. Joseph’s Hospital where he remains in critical condition.

The outlet reported Tyler was struck eight times, including once in the head.

The story continued with details from prosecutor John Schneider on Williams’ prior arrests:

Officials say Williams had nine prior felonies on four different occasions, and was on probation at the time of the shooting. According to Schneider, two of Williams’ felonies were for armed robbery.

“He’s heard on body camera before the crimes occurred, saying something like he was going back to jail. A short time later he shot at police presumably to avoid any apprehension,” said Schneider

None of the responding officers — including Moldovan — fired a shot at the suspect, according to reports.

Now, I promised I’d share something uplifting with you here. I didn’t forget.

The Phoenix area community, along with the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association (PLEA) union, gathered Friday for a barbecue fundraiser, with everything raised going to support Tyler’s family.

The police department showed their appreciation with this brief video on social media:

One man who attended, Claudiu Olar, told KTVK/KPHO about the kind of young man Officer Moldovan is:

“He was born at the same church that we attend,” said Olar. “His grandfather was actually a founding pastor at the church. His family has been very involved. His mother is my first cousin.”

“Tyler is your all-American guy….I mean, he’s the son that every parent wants to have. He’s the total package. He’s got a positive attitude, known him as a child, very well behaved, very responsible, a hard worker, and he has the heart of a servant leader, meaning he puts others before him.”

Phoenix Police Chief Williams also shared this update on Tyler’s condition:

“His condition remains the same,” said Chief Williams. “We’re hopeful. He’s still alive, and that’s a blessing. He’s a fighter. He’s resilient. He’s tenacious. I think in his heart of hearts he knows he has all the support in the world, not just from the police department but from our community as well.”

Anyone who would like to lift up Tyler and his loved ones can also show support at

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