Police shoot, kill suspect who held couple hostage for hours

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- A Phoenix couple was held hostage for 10 hours in their home and the nightmare ended with officers shooting the suspect, who later died at the hospital.

Investigators say is started at about 1 p.m. Tuesday when a 54-year-old man broke into a home in the neighborhood northwest of Thunderbird Road and 35th Avenue. The suspect's estranged wife and her boyfriend were inside that house.

"This man and woman thought they were going to die," Phoenix Police Sgt. Tommy Thompson said. "The suspect told them he was there to kill both of them."

For hours, the suspect held the couple at gunpoint. At some point, police say the suspect complained of back pain, so his 47-year-old estranged wife offered him some pain killers and then offered him wine.

"She was trying to get him to pass out so they could escape," Thompson explained.

Police say the suspect started to doze off from the drugs and the alcohol around 11 p.m. That's when the 47-year-old male victim ran outside to call police.

The suspect ran outside after him. That's when officers arrived. Police said he refused to follow their numerous commands to drop his gun.

"The suspect ran tried to run back into the home, but the estranged wife wisely locked the door," Thompson said. "That's when he turned around, pointing the gun at the officer and the officer, fearing for his own life, opened fire several times." The suspect, who is from out of state, was taken to the hospital where he later died.

As standard procedure, the 35-year-old officer has been put on paid administrative leave pending the investigation. While his name has not been released, police say he's been on the force for 12 years.

Police also say the male victim's 81-year-old mother also lived at the home, but no one else was hurt.

Investigators have not released the names of anybody involved.