2 more arrested in connection with helping Nicholas Cowan in Phoenix officer shooting

Phoenix police on Thursday said two more people were arrested in connection with helping Nicholas Cowan evade authorities after they said he shot and critically wounded a Phoenix police officer two weeks ago.

The details and possible charges Caroline Coster, 35, and Michael Hankins, 41, face after their arrests Wednesday were unclear as of Thursday. They’re among three people accused of helping Cowan as he led authorities on a three-day manhunt through Easter weekend.

Phoenix police first arrested 33-year-old Nicole Montalbano nearly two weeks ago for her role in helping Cowan, officials said. Montalbano — who was described in court documents as Cowan’s “girlfriend in the Prescott area — faces charges on suspicion of hindering prosecution and tampering with evidence, according to court documents.

Officials previously said they believed several people helped Cowan; However, it’s unclear how many they thought were involved.

Details of shooting

The incident on April 14 began when a woman called police from a Marathon gas station near Cave Creek and Beardsley roads to report her boyfriend, Cowan, for committing “several criminal acts” and attempting suicide, Phoenix police said she told them.

It’s unclear what criminal acts Cowan was suspected of committing, but Phoenix police initially said they responded to a domestic violence call at the gas station.

The woman also told police she went to the gas station “to avoid a confrontation with her boyfriend” because he had to “shoot it out” with police, according to officials.

As the woman spoke with police, Cowan arrived at the gas station in a 2012 light blue Toyota Prius. He then shot an officer who began to approach him and continued to fire gunshots in the area before fleeing, officials said.

Another officer at one point returned fire; However, it’s unclear how many times they fired their weapon. No other bystanders or officers were injured in the shooting.

The injured officer underwent surgery and has since been moved to a rehabilitation facility. She was only identified by officials as being a 24-year veteran at the department whose spouse is also a Phoenix police officer.

Cowan returned to hospital earlier this week

A tip led authorities to Cowan’s location in Scottsdale on Easter morning and, after an hourslong standoff, he was arrested “without significant use of force.” But, Cowan was ultimately taken to a hospital for treatment for gunshot injuries he received during the April 14 shooting.

Phoenix police on Monday night confirmed Cowan was released from the hospital and booked into a Maricopa County jail.

However, several hours later, the department on Tuesday said he was taken back to a hospital for monitoring. They said the decision was made during Cowan’s booking process and before he was “officially turned over to MCSO custody.”

It’s unclear why officials thought Cowan needed monitoring at a hospital.

Reach the reporter at chelsea.curtis@arizonarepublic.com or follow her on Twitter @curtis_chels.

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Police: Two arrested in connection with helping Nicholas Cowan

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