May 2, 2012 in News

Five people dead in Ariz. shooting rampage

 

GILBERT, Ariz. (AP) — A man fatally shot four people, including a toddler, at a home in a Phoenix suburb Wednesday before being found dead, authorities said.

Gilbert police said they weren’t sure yet whether the man committed suicide.

At a briefing for reporters, Gilbert police Sgt. Bill Balafas said all the evidence points to the shooting being a domestic violence situation. He didn’t elaborate.

Authorities said the man was armed with several firearms, and officers recovered two handguns and a shotgun. The gunman’s identity and motives weren’t immediately known.

The genders and ages of the other four victims also weren’t immediately released, but Balafas said the toddler was a girl between 1 and 2 years old.

He said the girl was alive when authorities arrived at the scene but was pronounced dead at a hospital. Police said the other bodies were still inside the home.

About three hours after the shooting, a man walked up to the police tape, pointed to the crime scene and said, “I have a daughter who lives in that house.”

Police pulled him behind the tape and out of view. Several seconds later a loud cry of anguish could be heard. Minutes after, the same man was weeping and left the scene with police.

The shootings occurred after 1 p.m. in a subdivision southeast of Phoenix that is filled with stucco homes with red-tile roofs.

Witnesses said a SWAT team sealed off part of the area and investigators told residents to remain indoors.

FBI spokesman Manuel Johnson said federal agents were at the scene “providing personnel and technical assistance” to Gilbert police, but that the police department was the lead agency.

DeAnn Rawson, who has lived in the Lago Estancia neighborhood for 13 years, stood on a street corner and talked to drivers who rolled down their windows to ask what happened.

Rawson, 38, said she was sick to her stomach over what happened. “As you can tell, everyone driving by is absolutely shocked,” she told The Arizona Republic.

“I would have come and got her,” Rawson said of the youngest victim. “It makes me mad. I can’t have children, and you have other people doing things that are insane.”

Gary Davis, who also lives in the neighborhood, said, “There’s no excuse for taking a child’s life.”

“Nothing ever happens in this neighborhood,” Davis said. “It’s a shock to us.”


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