Phoenix police and firefighters braved bullets and flames as they responded to a shooting and house fire that left five family members dead early Tuesday, including the gunman, authorities said. The shooter fired at officers who donned breathing gear to go into the burning home to help the victims, and some firefighters battling the blaze stood on the roof as flames gushed out, venting the home to reduce heat and improve visibility inside. Three officers were treated for smoke inhalation, the AP reports. Four people killed in the morning violence were adults, and a 6-year-old girl later died at a hospital. Police shot the gunman, police Sgt. Trent Crump said. Crump declined to release names or specify the relationships of the people involved, but he said they were a family of five and that the shooter was the brother or son of the victims.
A 911 caller in the home begged for help, describing the shooting as a domestic situation. The shooter had set the house on fire; the first officers on scene went into the house because they felt they had to act quickly, Crump said. Authorities pulled two victims from the home in a cul-de-sac, then a tactical team stormed in 45 minutes later when the gunfire stopped and shot the gunman, he said. Crews extinguished after it flared up for a second time, fire Capt. Reda Riddle-Bigler said, and officials found the other victims when the flames were out. A neighbor says the 6-year-old and an older daughter lived at the home with their mother and father, and that he saw a boy in his late teens or early 20s from time to time. (Read more murder stories.)