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Suspect charged with attempted murder after firing at neighbors

The Camp Verde Journal of Camp Verde, Arizona

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On Dec. 21, at approximately 1:15 p.m., Yavapai County Sheriff's Office deputies were called to the 2800 block of Tissaw Road in Cornville, regarding a neighbor threatening to kill the reporting party and her husband.

A deputy arrived within minutes and as he exited his vehicle, he heard gunfire. Dispatchers also notified the deputy that two adults — a 60-year-old man and his 59-year-old wife — were inside.the home and could see the suspect shooting through their back door. While maintaining cover, the deputy was able to locate the suspect as described in the call.

The man, identified as Clifford Katz, 54, was spotted by the deputy. He was sitting on the back porch of the victim's home next to a rifle lying on a table. The deputy could see numerous bullet holes through the glass in the rear door of the home. By way of verbal commands, the deputy was able to distance the suspect from the rifle and take him into custody.

The victim/husband told deputies that Katz had come over earlier in the day and ordered him to leave. Katz told the man he bought their house and wanted him and his wife to vacate within 30 minutes. The victim's wife was not home at this point. Katz left, but returned a few minutes later to again demand the couple leave their home, adding that he "could have them killed." Katz barged inside and when the husband told him to leave, Katz pushed him. The victim contacted his wife by cell phone asked her to call 911 as Katz was becoming violent. Katz entered the victim's attached garage and sat inside the victim's truck still refusing to leave.

At this time, the victim's wife arrived and opened the garage door to see Katz confronting her husband. When Katz learned the police were coming, he left and told the couple he was going to get his gun and kill them.

Both victims barricaded themselves in their home while updating dispatchers via 911. They watched Katz enter his own home and then exit quickly holding a rifle. Katz came to their back porch, banged on the door, and then sat down in a nearby chair. A few moments later, he walked away from the porch, turned and fired several rounds into the home towards the back door. At this time, the first deputy arrived at the front of the house. The victims then saw Katz return to the back porch and fire several more rounds through the door and door frame before setting the rifle down. It appeared Katz was targeting areas where he thought the couple might be hiding. It was at this time the deputy approached and was able to take Katz into custody. Neither victim was injured.

Detectives served a search warrant at Katz's home and recovered over four pounds of marijuana and a 12-gauge shotgun among other items. The .22-caliber rifle used by Katz in this incident was also recovered. Detectives located furniture inside the victim's home that had been damaged by bullet fragments. Detectives are investigating medical issues and drug use by Katz that may be a factor in his behavior.

Katz was booked at the Yavapai County Detention Center in Camp Verde on charges including two counts of attempted murder and six counts of discharging a firearm into a structure. He remains in custody on a $45,000 bond.

Copyright 2014 The Camp Verde Journal, Camp Verde, Arizona. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: January 1, 2014

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