GLENDALE, Ariz. – Investigators are looking into whether a man accusing of firing at officers in a Phoenix suburb is connected to a trio of shooting deaths in the state after he was found with a car belonging to a victim.
A deputy on Tuesday found three burglarized homes in a rural area in western Arizona. The deputy found two people dead from gunshot wounds in one house, and a third in another, the Laz Paz County Sheriff's Office said.
Identities of the victims, details of the killings and specific locations were not released.
An "attempt to locate" notice was issued for the missing car of one of the victims, the sheriff's office said. The vehicle turned up in the Phoenix area in the possession of a man who allegedly shot at two Glendale police officers Wednesday, authorities said. Neither officer was hit, and SWAT officers eventually took the man into custody.
Glendale police identified the man as 24-year-old Kitage Lynch of Phoenix. The sheriff's office said he is considered an "investigative lead" in the homicides.
Lynch is being held at the city jail pending results of a coordinated investigation by Glendale police, La Paz County and the Arizona Department of Public Safety.
Lynch wasn't immediately booked, but his actions in the Glendale shooting "fit the definition" of aggravated assault, Glendale police Sgt. David Vidaure said. "We know that he did what happened in Glendale this morning."
Vidaure said he didn't know whether Lynch had made any statements to police or had even been questioned by investigators from any of the agencies involved. Vidaure added he didn't know whether Lynch has an attorney who could comment on his behalf.
According to Vidaure, two officers went to a field in Glendale early Wednesday after a caller said a man was yelling and randomly shooting a gun.
Shots were fired at the officers before they got out of their vehicles, one of which was hit by at least one round, Vidaure said.
Officers surrounded the field. The man surrendered peacefully and was taken into custody after a SWAT team found him in the field.
Ian Zbikowski, who said he'd been asleep in a trailer near the scene, told KNPX-TV (http://goo.gl/zGz4e2) the man seemed to be acting irrationally by shouting and pulling things from his car.
"A little later into the night, he started letting off gunshots. It was pretty scary," Zbikowski said.