Phoenix apartment manager attacked by resident during fire

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — The property manager of Phoenix apartment building that caught fire is thankful to be alive after he says a resident pulled a knife on him. 

That resident has been identified as John Gopher.

The tense moments unfolded Friday morning in the Sunnyslope area near 15th Avenue and Hatcher Road in Phoenix.

Mark Campbell said he was knocking on doors and making his morning rounds to check in on residents when things suddenly turned violent.

Campbell said he was able to get inside the suspect’s apartment.

He then realized the suspect had barricaded himself in a bedroom. 

“I smelled smoke so I kicked the door in and attempted to put it out,” Campbell said.

“I don’t know what’s going on with him, but he set the room on fire,” he continued. “I tried to put the fire out and he attacked me.”

Campbell forced his way inside the bedroom to find flames shooting out of the suspect’s bed. He said the suspect then pulled a knife on him and held it by his neck. 

“He told me to be quiet,” said Campbell.

He said the attack felt like it went on for about 10 minutes. 

The Arizona Red Cross is helping displaced residents with a temporary place to stay. 

Phoenix police have not confirmed whether the suspect started the fire, the cause of which is under investigation.



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