Anthony Milan Ross, a vegan chef and motivational speaker, was identified as the man accused of murdering his two small children and their mother – his estranged wife – on Christmas Day in Phoenix, Arizona.
The tragedy led to a standoff at the apartment building where the carnage occurred. The suspect is 45-years-old, and he’s still alive after the Christmas massacre. Anthony Milan Ross was charged with “three counts of first-degree murder and 19 counts of aggravated assault on an officer,” and made his first court appearance on December 26, 2017, where he was held without bond.
Ross was a prominent vegan chef who urged people to adopt healthy lifestyles. He appeared on the cover of this vegan magazine with the son he’s now accused of killing. Iris Ross, the wife he’s accused of killing, worked as an administrator at a medical center.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Ross’ Estranged Wife Was Found Shot in the Parking Lot & the Children Inside the Home
When police responded to the apartment complex, they discovered a grisly scene. They found the ex wife, who was identified as Iris Ross, shot to death in the parking lot. She was listed as being 38-years-old.
Police searched the property and eventually found an 11-year-old boy and a 10-month-old girl dead, according to AZFamily.com. The police tracked the suspect down into one of the apartments.
A GoFundMe site has been established for the family. “In an unbelievable act of horror and violence a mother and her two children were brutally murdered on Christmas Day. Iris was a loving gentle mother who adored her children, Nigel 11 and Anora age 9 months,” it reads. “The family is faced with the devastating loss and the expenses associated with funeral expenses for these three beautiful souls.
Please donate as you can to help support them financially through this extremely difficult time.”
2. The Suspect Was a Vegan Chef & Posted a Video on Facebook With His Son on Christmas Day
Police said there was a “domestic violence relationship” between the two. Police said that the suspect and woman who was killed were the parents of the slain children. Although some news media reports say the adult woman was the estranged wife of the suspect, the police spokesman was not clear on the exact relationship.
In a press conference, he said that they had a former relationship together. According to AZFamily, Iris Ross was allegedly trying to get away from Anthony Ross when she was shot. The children were identified as Anora Ross and Nigel Ross. The newspaper reported that witnesses described Anthony Ross going through Iris’ pants pocket, allegedly to look for a key fob for her car.
Ross posted a now chilling video on Facebook with his son before allegedly shooting the boy. In it, they sing “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” Known as Milan, Ross was a vegan chef who lost weight in his 20s and appeared alongside celebrities.
“Ross lost a large amount of weight when he was in his 20s, which he has attributed to his vegan lifestyle. He spoke about it in a feature-length documentary that also included celebrities James Cameron and Samuel L. Jackson,” AZFamily reported, adding that Ross is known as Milan Ross professionally.
Posts on Facebook indicate that Ross once weighed more than 500 pounds before changing his diet and finding his professional calling. According to his Facebook posts, he frequently appeared at conferences and was also a published author.
3. Ross Had Deteriorated After the Couple Divorced & Was Described as Unstable
Iris Ross’ sister says she received a text message from Ross. Mary Wogas told ABC15 that the first message said he had killed Iris and the kids. The second message added “with a gun.” She described Ross as having a “very, very dark side.” After the couple divorced in June, Ross allegedly shifted between anger and trying to get Iris back, even threatening to put a hex on her, the television station reported.
When police arrived, they were able to make contact with the suspect, who was holed up inside the apartment complex. A negotiation ensued and, at first, it wasn’t clear that the children were also dead.
The suspect allegedly began shooting at the officers. They engaged in a shoot out with him, according to police. The suspect was not injured and was eventually taken into custody. One officer was taken to the hospital in stable condition for an injury that may be from shrapnel.
The police said they were speaking to the suspect for several hours. He lost contact and was no longer communicating with them at one point. The motive was not clear.
4. The Suspect ‘Came in Town For a Christmas Visit’
Police released very little information about the suspect’s identity at first. A police spokesman said in the news conference that the man “came in town for a Christmas visit” and was not believed to be from Phoenix himself.
“I don’t believe he was from the area,” the spokesman said, at first declining to release the suspect’s name. At another point, police learned that the suspect “was watching the news and media and it was agitating him with our negotiators,” the spokesman said. “Contact was very minimal if at all.” He said that witnesses had heard gunshots.
5. The Suspect Is Accused of Telling Family Members That He Killed the Children
After the Christmas Day horror, the suspect was accused of telling both police and family members that he had “killed the children.”
He made comments that he had killed the children and “he made notifications to other family members that he had killed the children,” the police spokesman said in the first news conference on the tragedy.