Christmas tragedy: Man held in Phoenix killings of estranged wife, 2 kids

PHOENIX (AP) — A man accused in the Christmas day shooting of his estranged wife and their two children was held without bail Tuesday on three counts of first-degree murder following an afternoon of violence that culminated in a night-time shootout with police officers.

Maricopa County Superior Court records filed Tuesday show Anthony Milan Ross, 45, was also charged with multiple counts of aggravated assault and assault against a police officer in the Monday afternoon mayhem.

Police responding to a report of gunfire arrived at the Phoenix apartment complex where the shooting had taken place to find the body of Ross’ estranged wife, 38-year-old Iris Ross, outside. Officers later found the bodies of their 11-year-old son Nigel Ross, and their 10-month-old daughter Anora Ross inside the apartment where the father had barricaded himself.

Police tried to talk to Ross when he was inside the unit, Sgt. Jonathan Howard said. Several hours later, Ross indicated he had killed the two children and began shooting at officers, said authorities. After a brief gunbattle, he was taken into custody.

Ross was not hurt, Howard said. One officer was injured by shrapnel and taken to the hospital in stable condition.

It was unclear where Ross was currently living. Police had initially indicated he no longer lived at the complex and was visiting the area for the holidays, but court documents listed the apartment address as his residence.

Police did not give a motive for the shooting that they said they were investigating as a domestic violence incident.

It was not clear if Ross had a lawyer who could speak on his behalf.

A status conference was set to be held at Maricopa County Superior Court on the morning of Jan. 3, and a preliminary hearing was scheduled for the morning of Jan. 5.

On the afternoon of the shooting, tactical units escorted residents from the area, and some clustered outside a convenience store for hours until the standoff ended. Others returning home weren’t allowed in.

“It’s kind of crazy, just because it’s supposed to be a holiday for your family and getting together,” Sierra Scott, whose mother lives at the apartment complex, told FOX 10.

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