Two shoplifting suspects are now in police custody following an hours-long standoff with police at a home near 19th Avenue and Cactus Road Sunday.
Phoenix Police Dept. spokeswoman Sgt. Mercedes Fortune says around 11:40 a.m. officers responded to a business in the area of Grand Avenue and Indian School Road after a reported shoplifting incident involving a pair of men.
Fortune says witnesses tried to stop the two men, later identified as 37-year-old Kenny Keyes and 26-year-old Blake Miller, from leaving the store. One of the men pointed a handgun at the witness left in a vehicle.
Officers were able to track the men to a residence in the area of 2300 W. Windrose Lane. Officers in a police helicopter saw the vehicle arriving at the Windrose residence.
[MUG SHOT: 26-year-old Blake Miller]
“Officers arrived on scene and attempted to make contact and both suspects ran into the residence and refused to come out," said Fortune.
Police tried rounds of tear gas to force them out, shortly after a gunfight.
"They refused to come out and at some point, there was (sic) actually shots fired from within the home at officers. Officers did return fire,” said Sgt. Fortune.
Police were able to arrest Keyes as he exited the home.
Keyes told police that Miller was still hiding at the house and that there were additional weapons inside.
Keyes claimed Miller would not exit the home and would engage officers.
The standoff took a bizarre turn when the house then caught fire. That's when officers deployed fire hoses and extinguished the fire.
Searches of the residence were conducted by both Phoenix fire and police personnel, but no one was located.
Miller was then apprehended by a K-9 officer. He was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.
Miller was interviewed and claimed Keyes was with him during the incident and that there was never a third male suspect within the home.
Forrest Kruger lives right next door to the scene and wasn't allowed inside his home but says he's actually relieved this is happening.
“Pretty happy about this. It absolutely doesn't surprise me other than the fact that it's taken about five years for this to actually culminate,” he said.
Kruger says when this is over he hopes peace can be restored to his neighborhood.
“They've lived there for quite a while maybe eight or nine years and always been a problem. Always a lot of traffic in and out of the house, there's always been drugs, always been some kind of violence going on," he said.
Keyes was arrested and booked for an outstanding felony arrest warrant and shoplifting.
Miller was arrested for aggravated assault of police officers, possession of a weapon by a prohibited possessor and shoplifting.
The case is under investigation.
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