A Phoenix family of five was killed during an early Tuesday morning shooting. Among the dead is a 12-year-old girl, four of her relatives, and the alleged shooter — who was also a member of the same family.
Phoenix police have revealed that the alleged gunman shot and killed his relatives after setting portions of their home on fire. Neither the victims nor the shooter have yet been identified by the police. The gunman reportedly fired at police officers and firefighters as they rushed to the scene.
— Merle Norman Olympia (@MNCOLY) February 23, 2016
The first responders attempted to rescue the people inside the burning home while being fired upon. It is not currently known if any of the victims were still alive when law enforcement officers and firefighters arrived, AZ Family reports.
One of the victims of the Phoenix family shooting was a 20-year-old woman who was still alive when she was rescued from the fiery and violent crime scene. Before she was transported to a local hospital where she later died, the woman told police investigators that her brother was the shooter.
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It is too early in the investigation for the Arizona police to confirm with any certainty if the man identified as the victim’s brother was the killer. The man, age unknown, may have shot himself after a firefight with Phoenix police officers, according to the Daily Mail.
The 12-year-old girl shot at the home was transported to an area hospital and was deemed to be in critical condition. Unfortunately, the child died while doctors attempted to treat her injuries.
“Officers were getting shot at from the second floor of the home while they were trying to extinguish the fire and extract people from the house,” Phoenix Police Sergeant Trent Crump told the local media.
Firefighters were forced to battle the growing blaze from both the ground and eventually from on top of the roof of the home. The fire raged as the shooter kept the first responders at bay for a significant amount of time after they were dispatched to the location.
Five family members including 12-year-old girl dead following shooting in Phoenix https://t.co/NmUjAW9E0m
— Daily Mail US (@DailyMail) February 23, 2016
After the fire was extinguished, flames flared once again and prompted firefighters to work from the roof of the home to keep the blaze from completely destroying the home and perhaps spreading to neighboring dwellings.
Some of the Phoenix police officers put on firefighter SCBA gear so they could enter the smoke-filled and burning home an attempt to reach victims. One police officer was taken to the hospital and treated for smoke inhalation.
A joint press conference was held in front of the home earlier today by Phoenix City Councilmember Thelda Williams and Mayor Greg Stanton. The mayor called the murder of the family an “unbelievable tragedy,” and added that “unspeakable violence” had happened inside the Phoenix home.
Mayor Stanton had nothing but praise for the actions of the brave Phoenix and Glendale firefighters and police officers who attempted to reach the family and save as many victims as possible while bullets were being aimed at them from inside the home.
“You have police officers who went into an active fire to pull out people to try to save their lives,” Stanton added ‘Their professionalism, their heroism under the worst possible conditions has blown me away today as mayor of this city. Thank you to our incredible heroes.”
Phoenix Police Chief Joseph Yahner said that the police officers and firefighters did their very best to save lives during the “horrific and tragic” event which happened earlier today.
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