Man suspected of shooting 6-month-old son in hostage standoff near Phoenix apparently killed himself


SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) — A man suspected of shooting his 6-month-old son multiple times after taking the boy and his mother hostage was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in the rubble of a suburban Phoenix home that caught fire during a SWAT standoff, police said Saturday.

The boy was reported in critical but stable condition at a local hospital Saturday, Surprise police said in a statement. They said earlier his injuries suffered the day before were not believed to be life-threatening.

Officers went to the home in the city of Surprise northwest of Phoenix in response to an emergency call around 11:30 a.m. Friday from a woman who said she and her baby had been held captive there since 3 a.m. by the child’s father, police said.

The mother escaped with minor injuries and called 911 with a cellphone she said she borrowed from a nearby construction crew.

Police heard gunfire from inside the house as they arrived, Surprise Police Sgt. Rick Hernandez said. They entered and found the baby with multiple gunshot wounds but did not see the father. They retrieved the child and retreated.

The dead man, identified Saturday as 51-year-old Todd Christopher Marchetti, had repeatedly refused to peacefully surrender. Fire damage to the home initially prevented authorities from finding him, Hernandez said earlier Saturday.

“Once it was safe for investigators to enter the residence, they discovered the remains of Marchetti with what appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. The cause of death is still pending the results of the medical examiner’s full report,” police said in the statement late Saturday.

Aerial videos and photos from the afternoon showed a thick plume of smoke rising from the severely damaged house.

Surprise police scheduled a news conference Monday to provide additional details on the ongoing investigation, Hernandez said.