A Phoenix man appears to have fatally shot his wife and then taken his own life — just minutes after she called the cops for help getting him out of their home, police said.
Syeda Sohaly Akter, 43, and her husband, Abul Ahsan Habib, 52, were found dead with gunshot wounds early Sunday by cops in Phoenix after officers responded to their home for a second time that morning, police told the Arizona Republic.
Cops initially responded to a report of an argument at about 9:26 a.m. at the couple’s home, where officers met with Akter and her adult son for about 15 minutes, police spokesperson Sgt. Tommy Thompson told the newspaper.
Akter told cops she wanted Habib — who had already left the home — to move out, Thompson said. Officers also provided her information on how to obtain an order of protection against her husband before leaving, KNXV reports.
The son then left the home to run some errands, and at some point Habib returned. Akter called cops a second time at 9:51 a.m. — when a police dispatcher heard gunshots ring out. Officers later found Akter and Habib dead with fatal gunshot wounds, the station reports.
Habib, Akter and her son, who was not identified, all lived at the home together. Detectives are investigating the shooting as a murder-suicide and recovered a gun from the home, Thompson told the Arizona Republic.
Akter had called police just five minutes after officers left the home, telling her to call back if Habib returned. She was telling a dispatcher that he had returned when the police dispatcher heard gunshots, Thompson said.
“Obviously this is a tragedy,” Thompson told KSAZ. “When you have a man who kills his wife and then kills himself, that’s a tragedy and I don’t know how to describe it other than that. So our hearts go out to the family members that have to live through this.”
Myriah Mhoon, CEO of New Life Center, which serves as Arizona’s largest domestic violence shelter, told KPHO the apparent murder-suicide “speaks to how horrific domestic violence and family violence can really be.”
About a quarter of nearly 100 homicides in Phoenix during the first half of 2020 were domestic violence-related, up 140 percent compared to same span a year ago, KSAZ reports.