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5 killed in domestic argument in north Phoenix

PHOENIX — A family argument in a north Phoenix home led to the deaths of five people Thursday, police said.

Police said three brothers and two women — one of the men’s wife, and the men’s mother — were found shot to death in the house near 44th Street and Bell Road.

At least four others managed to escape.

Officers arrived at the house around 2 p.m. after receiving a call.

“Our dispatcher could hear shots fired in the background while that call was coming in,” Sgt. Trent Crump said. “A caller had been able to escape the home at that point, get out and start to give us information.”

Police and a SWAT team members used a megaphone to communicate with someone inside the house, who spoke Arabic, Crump said.

Witnesses said they heard the sound of muted gunshots about an hour after the standoff began.

It wasn’t immediately clear how many people fired shots, but police said they weren’t looking for any outstanding suspects.

TV footage showed several SWAT team officers breaking the glass of a patio door to enter the home.

A tactical robot was sent in.

“It is a terrible crime scene,” Crump said.

The names of the five and their ages weren’t immediately released.

“We believe at this point that one of the brothers, from some of the very initial evidence in this … may have been the shooter in this,” Crump said.

Four survived the apparent family massacre, as two women and two young children escaped the home without harm.

A police perimeter remained in place well into the night, as investigators padded around the scene in booties to document evidence and detectives went door to door.

Neighbors told KTAR News that the family owned and operated a limousine transportation service.

Cooper Rummell of KTAR News and the Associated Press contributed to this report.