Phoenix police: Officers believe man killed self, 2 girls

AP News
Posted: Oct 17, 2016 8:45 PM

TOLLESON, Ariz. (AP) — A man and his two young daughters have been found dead inside their home west of Phoenix, and it's believed to be a murder-suicide, authorities said Monday.

Phoenix police said a 36-year-old man and a 5-year-old girl were pronounced dead at the scene late Sunday and a 4-year-old girl later died at a hospital.

A woman called police Sunday night to express concern about the welfare of her ex-husband and their two daughters, said Sgt. Mercedes Fortune, a police spokeswoman.

Around the same time, a neighbor of the Tolleson man called 911 to report shots being fired. "Officers believe that the adult male took the life of the two victims before taking his own life," Fortune said.

The names of the three won't be released until Tuesday, she said.

Neighbors of the man didn't immediately return calls Monday afternoon from The Associated Press seeking comment about the murder-suicide. Bio-hazard crew cleaned up the Tolleson home.

"It's a really quiet neighborhood. Nothing like this has happened since we moved in three years ago," Gilbert Herrera told The Arizona Republic.

Herrera, who lives across the street from the man, said he was home Sunday night and heard the shots.

He told the newspaper that the man involved had just separated from his wife a few months earlier, and she and the children had moved out.

The two girls were visiting their father for the weekend.

"I've seen the kids play," Herrera said. "They looked happy."

"If you saw him or talked to him, you would think that everything was perfect," Herrera said of his neighbor. "He seemed happy as hell — nice house, nice car ... It came out of nowhere."