MARICOPA, Ariz. - A U.S. Customs and Border Protection Border Patrol agent is dead after exchanging gunfire with officers, according to the Maricopa Police Department.
Police were called to the El Dorado Lakes neighborhood Monday night for a domestic violence incident, they said. The couple's 10-year-old daughter made the 911 phone call.
When police arrived, a man in the house started shooting at them, according to Maricopa PD.
The man was later identified as Border Patrol Agent Jeremy Russo, 40.
One officer returned fire. Meantime, the rest of the family inside the home was able to get out safely.
Police called in SWAT officers to go into the home. They used explosives to break through the front door and sent a robot inside, after which they found Russo dead in a closet.
Neighbors in the area said they heard the gun battle unfold.
"Before we went to bed, we heard shooting," said Bonnie Kevicki, who lives around the corner from the scene. "I thought it was a gas explosion when the smash and boom went on about 12:30."
Christine Holtz called 911 when she heard a tapping sound that turned out to be gunfire. The operator told her to take cover.
"She said 'Get down, go to a safe place,'" Holtz said. "My first thought was upstairs in the hallway away from the windows."
Holtz said she hid upstairs with her three children for hours, checking Facebook for information. After four hours, she saw that police had given the all-clear.
Russo's most recent assignment had been at the Casa Grande Border Patrol Station, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. He joined the Border Patrol in 2011.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials said in a statement Russo died of an apparent suicide, but investigators of the Maricopa Police Department, which is leading this investigation, have not confirmed whether Russo died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound or their officer's fire.
Property records show Russo bought the house in 2013.