Suspect shoots officer, self during stand-off in Avondale

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AVONDALE, Ariz. -- An Avondale police officer was shot in the leg while responding to a domestic-violence situation that came to an end when the suspect shot himself.

According to Avondale Police Department spokesman Detective Reuben Gonzales, police were called to the home in the area of 105th Avenue and Indian School Road at about 5:45 p.m. Sunday.

A woman told the 911 dispatcher that her husband was threatening to hurt her. She was able to escape unharmed.

As officers approached the home, the suspect, later identified as Sophann Chan, fired a single shot through the door hitting one of them in the leg.

"Our officers were initially just making approach, approaching the front of the home when the officer was shot. So we have not even had an opportunity to find out what took place, if a crime took place inside that home, even before we arrived," Gonzales said. Police immediately backed off and set up a perimeter around the home. Several nearby homes were evacuated as a precaution.

Officers spent hours trying to negotiate with Chan, but he refused to surrender.

Shortly after midnight, more than six hours after police were first called, the suspect threatened to kill himself and anyone who tried to enter the house. He then broke off communication with officers.

SWAT officers on the scene tried to reestablished contact using their PA system. According to Gonzales, that's when the suspect began fire at the SWAT team.

When the gunfire stopped, officers discovered that Chan had apparently shot himself in the upper chest. Gonzales said Chan remained in stable condition as of Tuesday afternoon.

The wounded officer was later identified as Sgt. Britt Gerdes, a patrol sergeant with seven years on the force. Gerdes was taken to a Phoenix hospital and underwent surgery Monday morning. By Tuesday afternoon, the 40-year-old had been released to recuperate at home.

Gonzales said officers have been called to the home multiple times, in several cases to respond to domestic-violence incidents.