A man was found dead after Phoenix police said he shot five officers and a woman early Friday at a home near 51st Avenue and Lower Buckeye Road.
Four other Phoenix police officers were wounded during the incident by bullet shrapnel, according to spokesperson Sgt. Andy Williams. Officials previously said only three officers were wounded by shrapnel.
The nine injuries to Phoenix police officers could possibly be the most to occur in a single incident at the department, Williams said.
Williams explained the investigation is “incredibly complex” and information is subject to change, but that as of 10 a.m. police were investigating two shootings — one of which involved officers.
How did the shootings happen?
Phoenix police responded to the home at about 2:15 a.m. Friday after receiving a report of a woman who was shot.
The shooter invited the first arriving officer inside and then “ambushed” him as he approached the door and shot him several times, Williams said. The officer was able to get to safety as backup arrived and called out the occupants of the home.
Then, another man from inside the home came out holding a baby girl, Williams said. He placed the baby on the ground, walked toward police and was detained. The department previously said the baby was placed into a carrier.
As officers attempted to take the baby to safety, the suspect shot four officers, Williams said. Another four were injured by bullet shrapnel.
Two officers returned fire and the shooter then barricaded himself in the home, Williams said.
The scene was ultimately secured, police said. The shooter — who was not identified as of Friday morning — was found dead inside the home.
A woman was also found injured in the home, Williams said. She remained in extremely critical condition as of Friday morning, Williams said.
The shooter was believed to be the woman’s former boyfriend, and the baby was believed to be their child, according to Williams. He had no information as to whether police had responded to the home before.
All five Phoenix police officers who were shot were taken to a hospital. There continued to be a large police presence outside Banner University Medical Center on Friday morning.
The first officer was injured “most significantly” but was expected to survive, Williams said. The four other officers who were shot had injuries that were not life threatening.
The four who were injured by shrapnel had minor injuries. They remained at the scene until the incident was resolved, Williams previously said.
Williams said it would “take some time” to determine how the suspect died and that a motive wasn’t immediately clear. The man’s identity won’t be released until the next of kin notifications are complete, Williams said.
Chief Jeri Williams highlights dangers in police work
Williams said the incident highlights the “uncertainties and the dangers of this job.”
“Police officers are always walking into tense, uncertain situations and we’re there to help people,” he said.
“It’s not for the money, it’s not for the accolades – it’s a calling,” he continued. “People choose this profession because something about it speaks to them and they want to help their community, they want to serve their community.”
Just two months ago, Phoenix police Officer Tyler Moldovan was shot multiple times during an investigation. He has since been released from the hospital but was taken to a another medical facility for rehabilitation.
“This is just one more example of the dangers our officers face everyday keeping us and our community safe,” Phoenix police Chief Jeri Williams said during a 6 a.m. news conference outside Banner University Medical Center.
“If I seem upset, I am,” she continued. “This is senseless, it doesn’t need to happen and it continues to happen over and over again.”
Gov. Doug Ducey in a tweet on Friday said his office was working closely with Phoenix police to get updates on the situation and the officers’ conditions.
“Our men and women in blue work day and night — no matter the circumstances — to protect our state from danger,” the tweet said. “Their unwavering courage & sacrifice helps to keep us safe. Arizona is deeply grateful.”