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Arizona police save 6-month-old shot multiple times, find suspect dead in burning home after hostage standoff


Arizona police rushed into a home to rescue a 6-month-old infant who had been shot multiple times after a suspect took the child and the child’s mother hostage on Friday, authorities said.

The suspect, identified as 51-year-old Todd Christopher Marchetti, broke into the home on 168th Avenue and Jenan Drive in Surprise at around 3 a.m. and refused to allow the mother and her baby to leave, the Surprise Police Department said. Marchetti was believed to be the child’s father.

Linda Ogle, a friend of the mother, told AZFamily that the victim had moved back in with her parents to escape Marchetti’s alleged abuse. Ogle said Marchetti had planned to torture the victim while her parents were out of town.

“He used an ax to get through one of the windows,” Ogle told the station. “He brought duct tape and ropes and different forms of pliers and a couple different butcher knives.”

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Todd Christopher Marchetti

Todd Christopher Marchetti, 51, was found dead with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head inside the home after the fire was extinguished, police said. (Surprise Police Department)

The resourceful mother, however, was able to escape her home around 11:30 a.m. and ask a nearby construction crew for help. Officers responded to a 911 call from the crew.

Upon arriving at the home, police said officers heard multiple rounds of gunfire from inside. One officer fired a round toward the suspect in the home, while other officers burst inside to rescue the infant.

SWAT outside home

SWAT teams responded and began an hours-long negotiation with the barricaded suspect. (FOX10 Phoenix KSAZ)

The child was found with multiple gunshot wounds. Police said the infant was in critical but stable condition at a local hospital. His mother was treated at the scene for minor injuries.

residence on fire

Police said that during negotiations, the home caught fire. It was unclear how the fire started. (FOX10 Phoenix KSAZ)

SWAT teams attempted to negotiate with Marchetti, who had barricaded himself inside the home and refused to surrender peacefully, according to police.

firefighters extinguishing fire

Police found Marchett’s body after investigators determined it was safe to enter the home. (FOX10 Phoenix KSAZ)

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As negotiations dragged on, a fire broke out around 3 p.m. inside the home. Firefighters were not immediately able to begin extinguishing the flames because of the sounds of gunfire coming from inside the home.

When investigators determined it was safe to enter the home, officers found Marchetti dead inside with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. 

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Police said Marchetti’s cause of death is pending the results of a medical examiner’s report.



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