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Police officers fatally shot a man who was threatening suicide Tuesday night near 111th Avenue and Indian School Road in Avondale, officials say.

It was the first of two fatal police shootings of the night. Phoenix police shot and killed a man on a bike who matched the description of a wanted felon after, they say, he fired a gun at them.

Police identified the man threatening suicide as 33-year-old Moises Balladares.  

Avondale police arrived at a home on the corner of 112th Avenue and Amelia Ave at 8:11 p.m. in reference to a suicidal person, according to a police statement. 

Multiple neighbors said Balladares was known to be a veteran who served in Afghanistan and suffered from PTSD.

Police negotiated with Balladares for more than an hour, neighbors said. At one point, he displayed a weapon “and officers were forced to use deadly force,” said Officer Ray Emmett, an Avondale police spokesman.

Neighbors said that Avondale police knocked on their doors and were first told to evacuate the area. Later, they said police instructed them to move to the back of their homes because of the threat. 

One woman, who witnessed the negotiation, said Balladares was screaming at the police that the VA Hospital didn’t care about him and his fiancee didn’t care about him, either. 

Mark Smith, who lived close by, said that the family was fairly new to the neighborhood and had only been there a few months. 

“It’s kind of a real tragic situation that a veteran felt so … troubled that he couldn’t seek help,” Smith said. 

Tom Donithan, a neighbor who watched the event unfold, said that the man seemed distraught while police were negotiating and “trying to make a positive outcome.” 

Neighbors said they heard between five and six gunshots go off after Balladares started to raise one of his weapons. 

The man was treated for his injuries but later died, Emmett said.

Arizona Department of Public Safety is investigating the incident.

At least 17 people have died this year after being shot by a law-enforcement officer in Maricopa County, according to an Arizona Republic tally. 


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