Six-month-old baby shot repeatedly during Arizona standoff with child’s father

<span>The man held the mother and child hostage for several hours before the mother managed to escape.</span><span>Photograph: Matt Rourke/AP</span>
The man held the mother and child hostage for several hours before the mother managed to escape.Photograph: Matt Rourke/AP

A six-month-old baby is currently hospitalized after a man allegedly shot the infant several times during an armed home standoff in Surprise, Arizona, about 30 miles north-west of Phoenix.

At about 3am on Friday, the father of the child allegedly broke into the home where the child and mother lived, according to Surprise police. The child’s father did not live in the house, police said, adding that the man held the mother and child hostage for several hours before the mother managed to escape.

According to police, the mother contacted a construction crew and requested that they call 911. They added that she had minor injuries and it remains unclear how she managed to escape.

In a press conference on Friday, Surprise police spokesperson Rick Hernandez said: “She believed the baby was in danger … Officers responded to the residence and, upon arrival, they heard multiple rounds of gunfire coming from inside the residence.”

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Hernandez continued: “That was when the officers forced entry. Upon forced entry, our understanding is that officers almost immediately located the injured child, took that injured child and got the child to care.”

“That baby sustained multiple gunshot wounds and was airlifted to a nearby hospital with serious injuries,” he said, adding that the child’s injuries, which were in its lower extremities, were believed to be non-life-threatening.

While police, including multiple Swat teams, were at the scene, the house caught fire as the child’s father was still inside.

Describing the scene to Arizona’s Family, the news outlet’s drone operator, Hector Holguin, said: “Next thing you know, there was smoke. And after the smoke, there’s a huge ball of fire coming from the back of the house and it just spread from the back all the way to the front … It just progressed. It collapsed the roof.”

As the house burned, a number of nearby residents self-evacuated when they were contacted by police while others chose to shelter in place, said Hernandez, adding: “As the incident progressed, many were asked to leave.”

Firefighters were able to control the flames by using two ladder trucks to hose down the house as well as the house next door, and were largely able to put out the fire by 4:30pm, Arizona’s Family reports.

It remains unclear how the fire started or what condition the father is in. According to police, an investigation remains under way and the father is not in custody.

“Once the [tactical units] get the clearance to go into that residence, we might have an update on him,” Hernandez said.