Peoria arson/shooting investigation now deadly

Posted at 4:10 AM, Apr 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-08 02:10:43-04

A 73-year-old resident pulled from a burning home Thursday has died from his injuries, according to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Department.

A man at the home shot a masked intruder he found using a blowtorch to start a fire that destroyed his home, authorities said.

The wounded suspect and 73-year-old Steve Krzyzewski were pulled from the home by a firefighter and were hospitalized in critical condition, a Maricopa County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman said.

The firefighter suffered burns that were not life-threatening, Sheriff's Officer Courtney Palma said. At least one additional firefighter and several sheriff's deputies were treated for smoke inhalation.

"The homeowner woke up Thursday morning to find a man setting a fire, then shot him in the abdomen. The wounded man ran away but was found about two blocks away," she said.

Investigators were trying to piece together what happened. It wasn't immediately known whether the wounded suspect knew any of those who lived at the home or what a motive could be, Palma said.

Arriving deputies responding to a call about a fire and home invasion were told by people outside that a person might be inside.

The deputies looked through a broken window and saw an unresponsive person lying on the floor, but they could not enter because of smoke and flames. A firefighter was able to go in and pull out the unconscious person, Palma said.

"His protective gear -- his helmet, mask and coat -- were also burned and pretty much destroyed, but it did its job in protecting him," said Deputy Chief Rick Picard of the Peoria Fire Department.