An armed robbery suspect in Arizona found out just how serious the police were about apprehending him.  NBC News reports that 36 year-old Mario Valencia held up a 7-Eleven convenience store in Tucson, AZ, then started a fire at a church, and then broke into a home and stole a car, which he then drove to a Wal Mart in Marana just northwest of Tucson.

Valencia asked a clerk at the Wal Mart if he could see a rifle from the display case.  He used the butt of the gun to smash a case and grabbed a box of 30-30 ammo.  Valencia then fled the store with the now loaded rifle.  He pointed the weapon at a police officer and even fired a round off into the air before things got a little more western.

At first, Valencia is walking along with the rifle held to his own chin.  A Marana Police car driven by Officer Michael Rapiejko arrives on the scene.   Rapiejko is seen on the dash cam video striking Valencia with his car.   Of course Valencia’s attorney is crying ‘excessive force’.  Officer Rapiejko has been cleared of any wrong doing and is back to work.

Was this excessive force?  Or did the officer act in a way that potentially saved lives?  If officers had engaged Valencia in a gunfight, bystanders could have been in the crossfire.  Valencia apparently was not hurt too badly.  He’s jailed in Pima County on 11 counts including armed robbery, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, arson, burglary, shoplifting and theft.