In a bizarre incident, Mesa police are working to sort out why a man described as distraught fired upon police from a west Mesa home Friday before at least four officers returned fire, killing him.
Police were responding to a medical call in the 1700 block of West Sixth Street east of Dobson Road about 11 a.m. after a mail carrier noticed the man sitting in front of a home with bloody hands and possibly severed fingers, according to Detective Mike Melendez, a Mesa police spokesman.
After the postal worker called 911, the man went inside the residence and the carrier heard gunshots before leaving the area, Melendez said. After police arrived, the man appeared in front of the home holding a handgun with his hands covered in blood. Instead of complying with commands to put down his weapon, the man held up the gun and fired multiple shots at officers, according to Mesa Police Chief Frank Milstead, who arrived on the scene of the third officer-involved fatal shooting in Mesa within three weeks.
Moments after officers returned fire, he died at the scene. No officers were injured.
The man, who was not a permanent resident of the home, had been living there with family, but police were not sure of their relationship. It was not immediately known how the man got blood on his hands.
“At this point, we’re just trying to figure out what happened,” Melendez said.
The man was identified later Friday night as 45-year-old Dana Alan Rowe.
Milstead said: “We don’t know why he was shooting at us. He fired more than one shot at officers. Unfortunately, he lost his mind for some reason. It’s not good. At least he didn’t hit any of us.”