- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 2, 2014

PHOENIX (AP) - Phoenix police are trying to determine why a 55-year-old man on his porch repeatedly fired a rifle at officers, neighbors’ houses and a police helicopter before being fatally wounded by two officers on a nearby rooftop.

Officers responding late Monday night to a report of shots fired in a neighborhood in the vicinity of 15th Avenue and Bethany Home Road were greeted by gunfire, according to police.

The officers took cover behind a vehicle and called for backup. The gunman then kept firing at officers, nearby homes and a police helicopter. It landed several blocks away so the crew could check for gunfire damage, but none was found, police said.

Two officers who arrived after the initial responders called for help climbed on the roof of a house across the street and shot the gunman as he stood on his home’s porch and kept shooting, Officer James Holmes said.

No officers or anybody else was injured, Holmes said. “There’s no other way to put it except that we got lucky,” he said.

The man’s identity wasn’t immediately released.

Police were checking criminal and mental health records to try and figure out why the man started shooting in the first place, Holmes said.

“We’re going to talk to the neighbors. We’re going to find out what kind of neighbor he was. We are going to talk to family. We are going to look at maybe mental health issues, if he was a veteran. We are going to look at all of that because there has to be an explanation for what he did last night,” Holmes said.

Investigators recovered three rifles and two handguns, all loaded and within the suspect’s reach.


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