Phoenix man facing charges after allegedly threatening firefighters with gun

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Steven Whitlock By Jennifer Thomas Steven Whitlock By Jennifer Thomas
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

PHOENIX -- A 53-year-old Phoenix man accused of pulling a gun on firefighters on Christmas Day is facing charges of aggravated assault and theft.

Police officers and firefighters were called to do a welfare check at an apartment near Missouri and 17th avenues Thursday afternoon, according to Phoenix police spokesman Officer James Holmes.

Firefighters arrived on scene first and attempted contact but received no response. They were preparing to leave when Steven Whitlock opened the door and allegedly pointed a handgun at them.

Holmes said the four firefighters ran for cover, leaving their equipment on the ground in front of the apartment. Whitlock grabbed some of the equipment then barricaded himself in his apartment.

Police officers arrived and attempted to make contact with Whitlock but received no answer. A SWAT team forced entry into the home and took him into custody.

Whitlock faces one count of theft and four counts of aggravated assault.

No motive is known for the suspect's actions.

According to court documents, Whitlock admitted to having a gun but denied any incident with firefighters.

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