Man allegedly attempting 'suicide by cop' surrenders after 7-hour standoff

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by Catherine Holland

Video report by Tess Rafols

Posted on January 31, 2014 at 6:34 AM

Updated Monday, Feb 3 at 10:29 AM

Map: 39th Avenue and Camelback

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PHOENIX -- An armed man surrendered peacefully after a standoff for police that went on for about seven hours.

It started at about 9:30 p.m. Thursday at an apartment complex in the area of 39th Avenue and Camelback Road. Residents of the complex called 911 to report a man with a gun chasing his girlfriend in the courtyard.

According to police, the 27-year-old woman lives in the Estancia del Sol complex, but the man does not.

By the time officers arrived on the scene, the man, later identified as 39-year-old Wednesday Peralta-Martinez, had locked himself in an apartment that investigators believe belongs to a friend.

Officers unlocked the door and went in, but said Peralta-Martinez pointed a gun at them and threatened them, forcing them to back out. That's when they called in the SWAT team.

They spent the night and early morning hours negotiating with the suspect. At some point during the standoff, police shot out the street lights in front of the apartment complex, leaving the area in complete darkness.

The standoff went on for seven hours.

"We're dealing with an individual obviously who was upset, not only with his girlfriend but also at officers," Phoenix police Sgt. Steve Martos said. "Throughout this entire night he had indicated he wanted to hurt himself, trying to get officers to shoot him."

That didn't happen.

Peralta-Martinez finally put down his gun surrendered to police at about 5 a.m., police said. Officers evacuated several residents as a precaution, but those people have since been allowed back into their homes.

Police located a pistol pellet gun inside the apartment and discovered damage to the interior walls.

At this point, police do not know what set the man off, why he was chasing his girlfriend or why he apparently wanted to die.

No injuries were reported.

Peralta-Martinez was arrested on charges of aggravated assault, aggravated assault on a police officer, and criminal damage.

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