Lt. Sal Freni, who supervises the Major Offender Bureau unit, describes how Detective John Hobbs, though mortally wounded and laying on his side, was able to fire back at his attacker. (Source: CBS 5 News)
Sgt. Doug McBride said Hobbs "is the stuff that movies are made of." (Source: CBS 5 News)
Detective Cory Geffre said Hobbs "was a great cop" because he was a great man, husband and father. (Source: CBS 5 News)
Hobbs' immediate supervisor, Sgt. Robert Knapp, said, "I think he embodied everything it is to be a police officer." (Source: CBS 5 News)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -
Very few people truly understand the dangers that faced Phoenix police detectives John Hobbs and A.J. Casados better than the unit to which they belonged - the Major Offender Bureau.
The detectives who work in that unit track down and arrest the most violent wanted criminals on the streets.
They are also the guys who worked side by side with Hobbs and Casados every day, some of them for years.
Hobbs, who was killed from a gunshot by a violent felon on Tuesday, had gained the respect and love of everyone around him throughout his career.
"John was a great cop because he was a great man," said Detective Cory Geffre. "John was a great cop because he was a great husband and father."
"I think he embodied everything it is to be a police officer and what the badge stands for," said Hobbs' immediate supervisor, Sgt. Robert Knapp.
"He went down and from a down position, on his side, he was able to put shots on target to stop the suspect," said Lt. Sal Freni, who supervises the MOB unit.
The members of this elite unit go after the worst of the worst, and the unit has chalked up some 10,000 arrests in the past five years. And to hear them talk, Hobbs was the best of the best.
"'Hero' just skims the surface on what this man was and what he stood for," said Sgt. Doug McBride. "He is the stuff that movies are made of."
Those who were closest to Hobbs said he led by example, and with 21 years on the Phoenix police force had the enthusiasm and dedication of a rookie, but the know-how and fight of an experienced veteran.
"From the conversation he had with the officers he knew, he was mortally wounded, he spoke all the way to the hospital and fought for another hour in the emergency room for his life," Freni said.
To get on the MOB unit, candidates have to take a written test, a practical exam and undergo an oral board. It's tough, the members said, but the guys in the unit are tough, too.
"We will never be the same," McBride said. "We know that. We will persevere and come next week, or the week or the week after that the members of this detail will be back to what we do. Protecting the public and taking career criminals off the street."
Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
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