Man accused of terrorizing central Phoenix neighborhood, starting a fire, killing 1 man

Posted: Updated:
(Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

Police have arrested a man accused of terrorizing central a Phoenix neighborhood, starting a fire and killing a man.

According to Sgt. Alan Pfohl with Phoenix police, officers were called to a residence near Third Avenue and McDowell at about 1:15 a.m. after a man, identified as 38-year-old Curtis Bagley, set fire to the front door of a woman's home. 

The 24-year-old woman told officers she was confronted by Bagley earlier as she arrived home from work. Pfohl said the woman continued to walk to her house and went inside. 

The woman told police that a short time later, she heard a noise and opened her interior door. She said Bagley was on the porch pouring gasoline on the outer security door and porch. Pfohl said Bagley lit the door on fire and the victim immediately shut the interior door. 

While the victim was calling her neighbor for help, officers said Bagley broke in through the back door. Pfohl said the neighbor was able to help the victim leave the apartment and Bagley fled. 

Pfohl said while officers were investigating this crime, an emergency call of a burglary was dispatched nearby. Officers responded and located the same suspect, Bagley, standing in the front yard of a home with blood on his clothes. 

Officers made entry into the home where they found 36-year-old Joshua Fitzpatrick lying on the floor with critical injuries. He was later pronounced dead on the scene. Fitzpatrick's wife was found hiding in the bedroom.

Bagley was taken to police headquarters for questioning. He was booked into jail on multiple felonies, including first-degree murder, aggravated assault, burglary and endangerment.

Neighbors tell Arizona’s Family that Fitzpatrick’s wife is so grief-stricken she doesn’t plan on coming back to the duplex they called home for about a year. People also say Fitzpatrick was an engineer at Honeywell, and that he could often be found working on his yellow scooter in his driveway.

There’s a concern in the Roosevelt District about criminal activity on the rise over the last year to 18 months or so. Chandler Travis lives near where Fitzpatrick was killed and attributes the rise in crime to the recent closing of a nearby homeless shelter.

"We’ve had a car window smashed in with a laptop removed. We've seen just a lot more of these incidents where we have people in the neighborhood who don't live in the neighborhood who are using the alleyways, coming through, and unfortunately we have this incident where someone was killed,” he said.

Travis has also found syringes in the alleyways and says the homeless population in the area has changed to younger people who are sometimes more aggressive.

Chris McDonald lives across the street from where the homicide happened. He once had a man who he believed to be on drugs pounding on his front door in the middle of the night. He called the police and they responded 40 minutes later.

“Our neighborhood isn’t quite as safe as it used to be,” he said.

McDonald praises the police for the work they do and doesn’t place blame on officers themselves, but he’s concerned the department is too understaffed to appropriately and quickly handle the crimes that have been creeping up more often on and around Willetta Street.

Neighbors are planning a neighborhood meeting later this month to discuss the recent criminal activity.

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