Police kill burglary suspect in Phoenix

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX -- A burglary suspect was shot and killed by police early Sunday morning.

It happened just after 2 a.m. at an apartment or condominium complex near 31st and Northern avenues.

Police responded to the area after someone reported an individual was trying to break into a residence.

When officers arrived, they spotted a man on top of a patio near the complex and started giving him commands.

Phoenix police spokesman Sgt. Steve Martos said the man has since been identified as Mark Lanza, 23.

According to Martos, Lanza ignored the commands given to him and fired at uniformed officers.

The officers returned fire.

"One of the officers engaged the suspect in gunfire after which the suspect jumped from this location into a backyard," Martos wrote in an email to media outlets. "The suspect then pointed the gun at other officers which resulted in officers shooting and killing the suspect"

Lanza was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to Martos, five officers were involved. They all have been with the department for more than six years. They were placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure in officer-involved shootings.

None of the officers was injured. 

Martos said Lanza was wanted on an outstanding felony warrant for robbery.

A search of Arizona Department of Corrections records showed Lanza was released from prison on June 9, less than two months ago. He was serving time for a 2008 armed robbery.