PHOENIX (Reuters) - A Phoenix man arrested on suspicion of killing his wife, two of their three young children and a man he believed was having an affair with his wife told police he believed the killings were justified "in God's eyes," police said on Friday.
The 30-year-old man, whose name was not immediately released, was taken into custody on Thursday following the shooting spree that left his 29-year-old wife and 5- and 7-year-old daughters dead at their west Phoenix home, Phoenix police spokesman Sergeant Tommy Thompson told a news conference.
The suspect told investigators the shootings were justified “because in God’s eyes it was all right for him to deal with someone in this manner who had been involved in adultery,” Thompson said.
The couple’s 3-year-old daughter was found by arriving officers hiding and unharmed, Thompson said.
The suspect is also accused of fatally shooting a 46-year-old man, who he told police was in a relationship with his wife, at an apartment complex, he said. Two other people at the scene were wounded.
Police arrested him without incident late on Thursday during a traffic stop near the scene.
Police said officers were called to an apartment complex Thursday evening following reports of gunfire and found one man dead and a male and a female with gunshot wounds.
Officers then went to the suspect’s home after one of the wounded said she was concerned about his wife and children’s safety, Thompson said.
The three additional victims were found dead from gunshot wounds and the 3-year-old was hiding under a bed, he said.
Thompson did not have any information on the suspect’s criminal history or whether police had been called to their home in the past.
(Reporting by David Schwartz in Phoenix; Editing by Dan Whitcomb and James Dalgleish)