LAVEEN, AZ - Authorities have confirmed two people found dead at a home in the south Valley were victims of a murder-suicide.
ABC15 broke the story Thursday morning after the victims were found at the home near 67th and Southern avenues.
Maricopa County Sheriff's Department spokesman Joaquin Enriquez said the homeowners, and parents to one of the victims, called 911 after hearing shots being fired from the guest home behind their house.
"Diane (the mother) was the one that heard them, so she went back to the apartment to check. Then she heard some more (shots) and she said 'Oh my God.' She got scared and went inside her house to call the Sheriff''s Department," said Mary Ann Shelton, a neighbor and family friend.
Deputies said when they arrived to the home, someone shot at them. Enriquez said the two deputies did not return fire, but instead called for help and began evacuating nearby homes for safety.
Enriquez told reporters nearly two dozen SWAT team officers were called to help set up a perimeter around the house.
"There were 8 to 10 homes evacuated and reverse 911 calls were made to others telling them to stay inside," said Enriquez.
When the gunfire settled, deputies found two people, a man and a woman, dead inside the home.
Jefferey Pacheco was on his way to work when he saw the parade of deputies responding, not realizing they were headed to his wife's, the male victim's sister's, family home.
Soon after his wife called him to the home.
"She was hysterical; I mean that's her baby brother. She and her little brother were like that (close). I don't know what was going on with them, but they lived in the back house. They didn't live in the main house," said Pacheco.
Pacheco added his brother-in-law and girlfriend lived in the home. The two also share a child together.
While family members knew there was a gun in the home, the shooting left them stunned.
"To me it’s a surprise. He was too strong of a man to do something like that," Said Pacheco.
Enriquez said investigators are not releasing the victim's names pending notification of next of kin.
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