Gun-wielding suspect wounded in officer-involved shooting

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GLENDALE -- An eight-year veteran of the Glendale Police Department said he had no choice but to shoot a man who came at him with a handgun early Monday morning.

Investigation continues

The suspect has been identified as 36-year-old Dennis P. Casarez.

Casarez has a criminal record and served time for misconduct involving weapons, drug violations, and resisting arrest.

Police were called to a home near 72nd Avenue and Camelback Road at about 1:24 a.m Monday.

The initial call came from a woman who reportedly told police that a man she believed to be her ex-boyfriend was trying to break into her home.

According to the Glendale Police Department, officers who arrived on the scene discovered signs of forcible entry and heard a disturbance inside the house and then somebody turned off the lights.

When the officers first knocked on the door, there was no answer.

At some point, a 36-year-old man, now identified as Casarez allegedly came out of the garage.

He was armed with a handgun and, according to police, refused repeated orders to drop the weapon.

An officer on the scene fired several times, hitting the suspect at least twice.

The man went back into the house.

Police ordered him to come out. He did and was taken into custody without further incident.

The man was taken to the hospital, where, at last check, he was in surgery. He reportedly is expected to survive.

No officers were injured and the woman who called 911 was taken to safety.

The officer who fired has been placed on administrative leave. That is standard procedure any time an office discharges his weapon.

Police are not releasing the names of anybody involved in the incident.

The investigation is ongoing as police try to piece everything together.