Man accused of killing estranged wife, 2 children on Christmas Day

By Sara Shayanian and Allen Cone  |  Dec. 26, 2017 at 7:17 AM
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Dec. 26 (UPI) -- Phoenix police have a taken a man in custody after his estranged wife and their two children were found dead on Christmas Day.

On Tuesday, police identified the suspect as Anthony Ross, 45, after a six-hour standoff with officers that ended at 10 p.m. Monday at an upscale apartment complex in central Phoenix.

After receiving reports of shots fired at an apartment near the Biltmore area, police found a 38-year-old woman dead in the parking lot.

Police began communicating with Ross, who was in Phoenix visiting for Christmas, Sgt. Jonathan Howard said Tuesday in a report by the Arizona Republic.

"Throughout the negotiations, he made comments that he had killed the children. He made some notifications to some family members that he had killed the children," Howard said in an report.

"During negotiations, the suspect changed his story and stated the children were alive and he threatened to kill them."

Officers deployed a robot into the house and spotted an 10-month-old girl dead, police said.

After it became clear both children were dead, police used an explosion to distract the gunman as they entered the apartment, officials said.

A 46-year-old officer was injured by "either direct or indirect gunfire" and he is in stable condition at a hospital, police said. The suspect apparently wasn't inured, the Republic reported.

A large police presence remained at the apartment complex entrance Tuesday morning.

Residents were escorted back to their apartments by officers a half-hour after the shootout had ended.

"It's kind of crazy, just because it's supposed to be a holiday for your family and getting together," Sierra Scott, whose mother lives at the apartment complex, told KSAZ-TV.

"I'm terrified of who our neighbors are," resident Kristen Alexander told the Republic.

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