Police ID home invasion suspect shot dead by resident

Posted: Updated:
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- A 26-year-old man is dead after breaking into a Scottsdale condo late Tuesday night.

Police were at the Terrace Condominiums at 85th Street and Indian School Road, which is west of Pima Road, all night.

Officers were called shortly before midnight by a man who said he had shot an intruder.

Police have since identified that intruder as Darren Sparks, 26, and said he entered the apartment through an unlocked front door.

The residents, two adult brothers, and a female friend were in the unit's front room at the time.

"The subject who entered into the apartment had a handgun and demanded cash and other property," said Scottsdale police spokesman Officer David Pubins.

Neighbors reported hearing a fight shortly before the shooting. One of the brothers  reportedly suffered minor injuries in the struggle with Sparks.

During that scuffle, the other brother grabbed a nearby rifle and fired.

"After the struggle, the individual who broke in received a gunshot wound to the chest and died on scene," Pubins said.

Officers searched the residence and illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia were recovered along with the weapon used in the shooting.

Police said witnesses were being interviewed to determine the possible motive for the shooting.

"I just heard that it was a drug deal gone bad," said neighbor Isabel Whitehead.

Concerned for her own safety, Whitehead said she would be closing her windows Wednesday night.

"In the last two years, things have just gotten to the point where I'm considering selling," she said. "I don't really want to live here anymore."

"It's scary stuff, man," neighbor Nick Steward said. "I don't know how you react to something like this. I've never been this close to something like this."

Police said it does not look like Sparks knew either of the brothers or their friend. They also said Sparks had no history with the Scottsdale Police Department.

Pubins said police had been called to the apartment where the shooting happened once before. That was a drunk and disorderly call six months ago.