PHOENIX (FOX 10) - Phoenix police are investigating a shooting that left a Luke Air Force Base airman dead after detectives say he tried to break into an apartment early Sunday morning.
The suspect got onto the property of Alta Camelback. Police say he removed the patio screen door to break the glass - moments before being shot. Now we're learning the man accused of breaking into the home was 21 and was assigned to Luke Air Force Base.
The back door of the corner apartment involved is now boarded up. Early Sunday morning, just after 2:30, Phoenix police responded to a burglary-turned-shooting at Alta Camelback.
Joanelize Morales lives here. She says she and her friends arrived to police asking if they heard gunshots.
"That's the worst location that you could have it," Morales said. "[It] backs into the Chevron [and] it's dark out there. It's almost kind of like a little alley. People are still walking by and taking pictures of the broken glass and the blood on the sidewalk."
Police say a 27-year-old man asleep inside the apartment woke up as the suspect tried to kick in the glass door from the back patio. That's when the tenant grabbed his gun and shot the intruder. According to Phoenix PD, the man who tried to break in was a 21-year-old Airman. He died at a nearby hospital.
Officials with Luke Air Force base confirmed the airman was an assigned military member. Neighbors at Alta Camelback say they've been keeping each other updated through their Facebook group.
"Anybody [who] comes through here needs to be very vigilant because there's a back part of here and it's lit, but again you have people that just tend to be on the bad side," one neighbor said.
"I think it's a good thing that they were able to protect themselves because you're off of the main street," Morales said. "This is 7th [Street] and Camelback - there's a lot of people. You're right behind a gas station."
The identity of the airman won't be released until his family has been notified. Police say the tenant who shot him does not face criminal charges at this time.