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Border agent barricades self in home near Phoenix, fires at police, dead hours later

(Howard Waggner/Maricopa Monitor via AP)

PHOENIX — A Border Patrol agent who barricaded himself in a home near Phoenix and fired a semi-automatic weapon at police was found dead early Tuesday morning.

No one else was injured.

City of Maricopa Police spokesman Ricardo Alvarado said officers had been called to the Pinal County home of Jeremy Russo, 40, Monday night after a girl reported domestic violence.

Russo fired an AR-15-style rifle at police, Alvarado said. Officers returned fire and were able to free the man’s wife and two children from the house.

Russo then barricaded himself in an upstairs bedroom.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety sent in a SWAT team, whose efforts to make contact with him were unsuccessful.

After four hours, DPS deployed an armed robot, which blew open the front door. The camera-equipped robot found the agent dead inside a closet.

Police were unsure whether Russo killed himself or if he had been shot by the officer during the exchange of gunfire.

Officials from the Border Patrol’s Tucson Sector said Russo joined the agency in September 2011 and that his most recent assignment was at the Casa Grande Border Patrol Station.

Maricopa is about 40 minutes south of downtown Phoenix.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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