4 dead in Phoenix, including suspect, in apparent murder-suicide, police say

Published November 13, 2013

| FoxNews.com

A domestic violence dispute at a north Phoenix home on Tuesday ended with with four deaths, including the suspect, authorities said.

Phoenix police told MyFoxPhoenix.com that the suspected gunman killed his estranged wife, their teenage daughter and a male relative of the wife before apparently killing himself. 

Police identified the shooter as 53-year-old Michael Sanders, and the victims as his wife, Carol Sanders, 51, their daughter, Audrey Sanders, 14, and 49-year-old Tom Fitzpatrick, who is Carol's brother.

Fitzpatrick was found dead in the driveway of the home, while Audrey Sanders' body was located inside in the house. Carol Sanders was found in the backyard after being set on fire.

Police eventually found Michael Sanders' body in a nearby alley and believe he shot himself. 

"I hadn't seen a case that I can think of recently. I guess I've seen people burned, but...it certainly is a horrific scene," Phoenix police Sgt. Trent Crump told MyFoxPhoenix.com.

Neighbors called police at about 4 p.m. Tuesday after hearing gunshots, and dispatchers could hear gunfire in the background of the 911 calls, Crump told reporters.

Much of the residential neighborhood was evacuated until police used a robot to determine the suspect was no longer inside the home.

Police told MyFoxPhoenix.com that the woman had sought an order of protection taken against her husband. The couple was reportedly going through a divorce and the woman went to the house to get some of her belongings with her daughter and the male friend.

The couple who lived at the home was scheduled to appear in court Tuesday regarding the protective order, police said. It was not immediately clear whether the hearing took place.

Crump said police were last called to the house about a month ago, when someone at the home was threatening suicide.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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