Suicidal man committed after officer-involved shooting in Peoria

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PEORIA, Ariz. – A man who is believed to be suicidal is in the hospital after an officer-involved shooting in Peoria.

It happened shortly after 7:30 p.m. Sunday at a home in the area of 105th Avenue and Deer Valley Road. Police were responding to a call regarding a suicidal man with a gun.

When officers arrived on the scene, they were confronted by Ariel Villa in front of the home. He was armed with a shotgun.

Police said Villa, 30, refused to comply with officers’ commands to drop the weapon. He walked into the street, pointing the shotgun at himself and waving it around.

According to Lt. Stephen Hadley of the Peoria Police Department, the man taunted officers, demanding they shoot him.

Officers fired beanbags rounds, knocking Villa to the ground, but he still refused to drop his shotgun. Police said they had no choice but to employ lethal force.

One officer on the scene fired his handgun several times and a K9 was sent in.

Villa did finally let go of the shotgun. That allowed officers to get close enough to use a Taser to subdue him and take him into custody.

Villa was taken to Banner Thunderbird Medical Center. Because of the bites sustained from the police dog, it was not immediately clear if Villa had been shot. His injuries, however, were not life-threatening.

It’s not yet known if Villa was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, but Hadley said he has been involuntarily committed for psychiatric evaluation.

Villa reportedly is divorced and had an on-and-off relationship with his ex-wife. Neither she nor Villa’s two teenage children, a son and a daughter, were at the home when this situation unfolded.

No officers were injured in the incident.

The investigation is ongoing.