Sister of man killed in Ahwatukee officer-involved shooting accuses police of killing her brother

The family of a person who died following an officer-involved shooting in Ahwatukee is speaking out Friday night.

According to Phoenix Police officials, officers responded to a domestic violence call late Thursday night at an apartment near Desert Foothills Parkway and Chandler Boulevard.

When officers knocked on the door, a 40-year-old man armed with a gun opened the door. Police say the man moved towards one of the officers and was shot by police.

That man, since identified as Ryan Whitaker, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Family calls Whitaker the victim in the case

On Friday, Whitaker's family calls him the victim.

"What my family and I believe is essentially, the police murdered my brother," said Whitaker's sister, Katie Baeza.

Baeza says Whitaker would never harm anyone, especially police.

"This is the last person this would ever happen to," said Baeza. "If he knew police were standing on the other side of that door, there’s absolutely 100% no way he would have answered that door with a gun. No way."

Phoenix Police officials say each officer stopped on opposite sides of Whitaker’s door, announcing themselves.

"He and his girlfriend were playing a video game, being rather loud at it by the time police came," said Baeza. "Even though reports are stating that it got physical right when the police arrived, they were in bed."

Police say Whitaker came outside with a gun, and took a quick step toward police before an officer shot him. Baeza believes Whitaker is the true victim, a family man who has never been violent, and loves his kids.

Baeza says she wants answers.

"He has two little kids. He just celebrated his niece, my daughter's graduation last night. He was getting ready to go up north with his family [Saturday]. They were packing, and had food that they were making. There’s evidence of that. It was a normal evening," said Baeza.

One of the officers involved has two years in the force, while the other is a 23-year veteran.

Phoenix Police officials have issued a statement on the incident.

"Phoenix Police officers responded to two domestic violence calls concerning this incident. Officers knocked on the apartment door and announced they were Phoenix Police officers. The man opened the door and quickly stepped out of the apartment, towards one of the officers," read a portion of the statement.

Police officials also say an investigative process into the incident, which includes both an internal and a criminal investigation, is ongoing.

FOX 10 has made a request for the body camera video.