A gunman has been killed after he fatally shot his ex-girlfriend and wounded nine officers in a shootout in Phoenix, Arizona, where police were lured into the path of gunfire trying to rescue the former couple’s baby girl.
Phoenix Police said the male shooter, who has not been identified, shot five officers and the woman as he barricaded himself inside a home near the area of 54th Avenue and Elwood Street in South Phoenix in the early hours of Friday morning.
There were three separate shootings during the five hours-long standoff situation before the suspect was found dead inside the home.
His ex-girlfriend - the mother of the infant - was rushed to hospital in a critical condition but died from her injuries later.
Nine officers suffered non-life-threatening injuries after being ambushed by the gunman in two separate incidents, with five suffering gunshot wounds and four struck by shrapnel.
Dramatic footage, captured by OnScene TV, shows the moment the suspect ambushed officers for a second time as they tried to take the baby to safety.
The video shows a man emerging from the front door of the home with a baby and placing the child in a pink carrier outside.
He is then seen raising his hands in the air, turning around and backing toward the officers, who arrest him and place him inside a police car.
At that point, shooting breaks out as the suspect opens fire on the officers from inside the home as they try to retrieve the infant from the front steps.
Phoenix Police Sergeant Andy Williams said in a late morning press conference that the incident unfolded at around 2:15am when officers responded to a 911 call to say that a woman had been shot.
When the first officer arrived on the scene, the suspected gunman invited him inside the home.
The suspect then ambushed the officer, shooting him multiple times just outside the front door, he said.
The officer managed to escape to safety and was taken to hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries, Sgt. Williams said.
Several other officers arrived on the scene where the suspect barricaded himself inside the home.
At one point, another man brought the baby outside the home and placed her in a carrier on the front steps so she could be taken to safety by police.
However, when officers went to retrieve the infant, the suspect allegedly opened fire again.
Four officers were shot during that ambush, while four others were injured by bullet shrapnel.
Two other officers returned fire at the suspect at that time.
All injured officers were taken to hospital for treatment and are expected to survive. Police said the baby was unharmed.
After crisis negotiators tried to contact the suspect, officers entered the home to find the suspect dead and the woman at the centre of the initial 911 call critically injured with a gunshot wound.
Phoenix Police confirmed at around 7am local time (9am ET) that the standoff situation was “resolved” and that there was no ongoing threat to the public.
It is not clear at this time if the suspect was killed by officer gunfire or by a self-inflicted wound.
Sgt. Williams said the woman used to be in a relationship with the suspect and that the couple shared a child together - believed to be the baby girl.
He said the baby’s mother is in an “extremely critical condition” in hospital. Police later said the woman had died from her injuries.
It is not clear what connection the man seen with the baby may have to the suspected gunman but police said there is no indication at present to suggest he was involved in the ambush of officers.
Neither the suspect nor the female victim’s identities have been released.
Phoenix Police first tweeted at around 3am that it was working a “critical incident” in the area of 54th Avenue and Elwood Street and told people to stay away from the active scene “for your safety”.
The department tweeted again at around 4.30am that the situation remained active.
The barricade situation has been resolved. There is no threat to the public. The area will be restricted while investigators are on scene. https://t.co/Q1A79jD7FO
— Phoenix Police (@PhoenixPolice) February 11, 2022
“Phoenix PD is working on a situation involving a barricaded subject inside a house. 1 person and several officers have been injured,” the department tweeted.
The standoff went on for around five hours in total, with Chief Jeri Williams saying in a press conference at 6am local time (8am ET) that the situation was still “active” at that time and that the suspect continued to be barricaded inside the home.
The shooting comes just two months after Phoenix Police Officer Tyler Moldovan was shot eight times including suffering one gunshot wound to the head while in the line of duty back in December.
Officer Moldovan spent a month in hospital before he was finally able to return home in January.
Chief Williams referred to the dangers her officers are facing every single day in Friday’s press briefing, saying: “If I seem upset, it’s because I am. It’s senseless and it continues to happen over and over again.”
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey asked for prayers for the injured officers.
“Please continue to pray for the five @PhoenixPolice officers injured this morning. Our men and women in blue work day and night—no matter the circumstances—to protect our state from danger,” he tweeted.
“Their unwavering courage & sacrifice helps to keep us safe. Arizona is deeply grateful.”