The shooting deaths of a woman and her two children in a Phoenix, Arizona, apartment complex on Christmas Day are being blamed on the children’s father.
Anthony Milan Ross, 45, was charged Tuesday in the murders of his estranged wife and their two children, authorities said.
In addition to three counts of first-degree murder, Ross is also facing multiple counts of aggravated assault and assault against a police officer. He is being held without bail, police said.
After responding to a report of gunfire on Monday, authorities found the body of Ross’ estranged wife outside the apartment. Once inside the home, they discovered the bodies of 11-year-old son Nigel and 10-month-old daughter Anora.
Ross had barricaded himself in the apartment and after a brief gun battle with police, was taken into custody. Police said Ross indicated to officers that he had killed his two children.
Phoenix Police Sgt. Jonathan Howard said one officer was injured by shrapnel during the exchange of gunfire, but Ross was not injured, according to Fox 10 Phoenix.
“I’ve never seen anything like this before,” Kristen Alexander, a neighbor, told Fox 10. “All of our neighbors seem normal and nice and we’ve never had a problem with anybody here.”
Court documents say Ross is being held without bail because the killings are being considered as a capital offense. Prosecutors could ask for the death penalty.
Ross is set for a preliminary hearing on Jan. 5.
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