Christmas Day is a favorite holiday for the majority of people but this was definitely not the case for residents of Highland Apartments in Phoenix.
Highlands Apartments is an apartment complex located near the Biltmore area in Central northeast Phoenix.
They witnessed a horrific shooting on Christmas day that might leave them scarred for life.
It all began at 3:45 pm on Monday, December 25, 2017, when the Phoenix Police Department responded to a call from Highland Apartments in Phoenix.
On getting to Highland Apartments, they found a dead woman in the parking lot.
#BREAKING 3 loud pops heard after hours-long standoff after woman shot at #Phx apartment complex https://t.co/KZr1VgbEpi via @azcentral @charrisazrep reporting pic.twitter.com/FFILEXOyeV
— Kathy Tulumello (@kathytulumello) December 26, 2017
Neighbors reported to the police that a strange man had taken two children – 11 years old and 11 months old – hostage in an apartment.
Following protocols, the police began engaging in negotiations with him reported Sgt. Jonathan Howard.
During negotiations, the man threatened the police severally and confessed to killing the children already.
The police believed that he was bluffing and hopefully one or both of the kids were alive and so continued negotiations for hours.
After about 6 hours of negotiations, at about 10.p.m MST, the police noticed from outside that the 10-month-old baby had been killed already.
Noticing that the other child was dead, officers began searching for the 11-year-old and that’s when the suspect began shooting at the police.
Officers and the suspect began engaging in a shootout for some hours.
Reported shooting at Highland Apartments in central Phoenix. @PHXPolice and @PHXFire on the scene. No word on injuries. pic.twitter.com/mkn3AsHI5G
— Craig Harris (@charrisazrep) December 26, 2017
During the shootout, an explosion was used to distract the suspect and they were able to gain access to the apartment.
In the apartment where the gunman had barricaded himself, the 11-year-old was found dead but the gunman continued firing shots at the officers.
He was finally apprehended but he did not sustain any injury.
An officer sustained an injury during the shootout but it wasn’t from a gunshot but from shrapnel and was taken to the hospital in a very stable condition.
The Police first characterized the shooting as domestic violence until they were able to establish the relationship between the gunman and his deceased targets.
It was reported that the suspect was from out of town and just came visiting the deceased for Christmas.
It was said that the gunman had been in a relationship with the deceased woman and that they shared the two kids that were dead.
BREAKING. Gunshots just fired at central Phx standoff, where a woman was shot earlier today at Highland Apartments. @PHXPolice evacuate media that was doing news standups across the street.
— Craig Harris (@charrisazrep) December 26, 2017
As the horrific event was occurring, officers helped evacuate troubled and worried occupants of the apartment complex.
People that were hoping to return to their homes were stranded outside while it was all happening.
Witnesses reported that at about 7:30.p.m, the power to the apartment complex was cut off and residents living close by were escorted out.
At about the five-hour mark of the standoff, more than half a dozen people were gathered outside Highland Apartments, with many of them wishing it’ll all just come to an end with little or no damage caused.
Many assumed they would have to spend the night at a hotel or somewhere else.
An occupant of the complex named Kristen Alexander, 26, had been waiting outside her apartment sine 4:15.p.m after arriving from a trip to Ohio.
‘I’m terrified of who our neighbors are’.
The identity of the man suspected for the crimes was later revealed as Anthony Milan Ross, a vegan chef, author, and motivation speaker.
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The deceased woman was in fact his estranged wife and the two children were his kids.
Ross was booked on suspicion of three counts of murder, aggravated assault on an officer and other charges in the death of his estranged wife and 2 children.
The reason for the crime hasn’t been stated but it seems like it’s a crime of passion.
This is just a case out of hundreds of shootings that have happened in the US in the past 3 years.
Some believe the easy access to guns is the major cause of this sporadic careless shootings and it’s high time the government addresses this problem.
May the deceased rest in peace!