BLACK CANYON CITY, Ariz. (AP) — Sheriff’s deputies fatally shot a man during an exchange of gunfire outside his home in a remote area north of Phoenix after his wife warned in a 911 call he might try to ambush them, the Yavapai County sheriff’s office said Saturday.
The sheriff’s office said it has asked the Arizona Department of Public Safety to investigate Friday night’s officer-involved shooting of Thomas Henzler in Black Canyon City.
Deputies responded to the home about 45 miles (72 kilometers) from Phoenix after Henzler’s wife reported at about 10:30 p.m. that he was intoxicated and had fired a bullet into the ceiling, sheriffs said in a statement.
She told the 911 dispatcher her husband knew she would call police and had begun to gather ammunition and set up an ambush on the only access point to the house, a bridge with a remote-operated gate, the statement said.
The dispatcher also told deputies she heard Henzler telling his wife in the background that he would shoot at law officers to “do a suicide by cop,” it added.
Fearing a hostage situation, deputies requested a SWAT team and DPS called in aerial support before the woman was able to safely exit and open the gate, according to the statement.
About an hour later, Henzler came outside and was walking toward deputies when he opened fire. Deputies shot back, striking Henzler, who later died, the sheriff’s office said.