Share this story...
Latest News

Phoenix standoff ends with death of gunman, hostages freed

PHOENIX — A police standoff at a west Phoenix home Tuesday has ended with the release of eight hostages and the man who was holding them at gunpoint dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

What began as an Amber Alert for a missing 3-year-old in Tolleson on Monday turned into a hourslong police standoff near 91st Avenue and Camelback Road.

The last of Israel Celis’ hostages were let go shortly before 10 a.m. when an adult woman and a 9-year-old came out of the house. Two children — Israel Celis Jr., 4, and a 13-year-old — and another adult had already been released.

At least one adult hostage had non-life threatening injuries.

A SWAT team tore down the front of the house with an armored vehicle just after 8 a.m. and gunfire was heard. Celis and three hostages were still inside.

Police said the elder Celis had taken his son from the boy’s mother, Celis’ estranged wife, from her home in Tolleson. He picked up two more children somewhere else.

Authorities said it is unclear what, if any, relationship Celis has with the other children.

According to Sgt. Rudy Mendoza, Celis Jr. went missing around 4:30 p.m. Monday.