SUN CITY, Ariz. -- Maricopa County sheriff's deputies said they arrested the armed man who was shot during a home invasion in Sun City early Friday morning. That suspect was at the center of a large search that went on for hours.
The suspect has been identified as Joshua Barnes, 33.
It all started at about 2 a.m. in the neighborhood of 111th and Peoria avenues.
While deputies searched on the ground, the Phoenix Firebird helicopter circled the neighborhood. Investigators reportedly found a blood trail early on in the search, but it would be hours before they could locate the suspect.
Detectives said the armed man broke into a home and threatened the homeowner. When the would-be burglar went to say something to the homeowner's wife, that homeowner was able to get his own gun and fire at the suspect. While he was hit, the suspect was able to run away, eluding police all morning.
Eight hours later, with the temperature rising, the search crews got a break in the form of a call reporting a man walking awkwardly on the 16th hole of the Sun City Country Club.
Brian Smalley happened to be nearby.
“I noticed he had a cloth around his right hand, which I thought was a glove when I first looked at it," he said. "Then I looked at it again and it was blood running up his arm, looked like he was stopping the bleeding.”
Smalley called 911 and within seconds the wounded wanted man was surrounded by SWAT officers and sheriff's deputies. They knew he had been hit when the homeowner opened fire, but were weren't sure exactly what kind of injuries he sustained. Finally catching up with him, they discovered he had been shot in the hand and grazed in the neck.
“He looked like he was on a mission to go somewhere else other than where he was at,” Smalley said. Which he did; he got a trip to a nearby hospital and then to jail.
At this point, it's not clear if this was a random break-in or if the suspect targeted the Sun City home.
Neither the homeowner nor his wife was injured.
Walter Ready, who lives in the area, said thefts are relatively common, but items are usually taken from outside of homes.
"We have a lot of things stolen around here all the time, on the outside of the house," he said, gesturing a new nearby subdivision and implying that the culprits might live there. "They steal all of our stuff. ... I've never heard of them getting inside the houses."
"We have a few little degenerates that run around here," Ready continued. "I would hope that it's not one of them."