Intruder killed by homeowner during armed robbery identified

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By Alicia Barron By Alicia Barron
By Alicia Barron By Alicia Barron

PHOENIX – A homeowner in north-central Phoenix shot and killed an intruder who broke into his home while fleeing police on Wednesday.  The shooting took place across from Foothills Elementary School near 43rd Street and Bell Road.

The suspect, identified as 26-year-old Rudolph Gomes, reportedly robbed a car wash near Tatum Blvd. and Charleston Ave. just before 1:00 p.m.  While fleeing the scene, the suspect’s blue Jeep Cherokee broke down after he crashed into a stop sign.  He abandoned the vehicle in a school parking lot and fled on foot.  

The incident forced a lockdown at Foothills Elementary School and sent a flood of police officers into the neighborhood.  Phoenix police officers heard a gunshot while using K9’s to search for the suspect. When they arrived at a home in the 4300 block of East Libby they found a 59-year-old homeowner and Gomes with a wound to his stomach.

Sgt. Tommy Thompson with Phoenix police said, "the homeowner was in a room doing some work and was surprised when this man was there to rob him...he said that he wanted his property."

The homeowner told police that the armed intruder demanded the keys to his car. Instead of going to get his car keys, he retrieved a shotgun from another room and then opened fire on the suspect.  

Gomes was taken to a nearby hospital in critical condition where he later died. The homeowner was not injured.