MARICOPA COUNTY, Ariz. — Authorities identified the man killed in a shooting involving Maricopa County Sheriff's deputies on May 18 in Guadalupe.
Ronaldo Abel Rojas was acting erratically and in possession of a gun around 1:32 p.m. in the area of Avenida Del Yaqui and Calle Pitaya near Frank Elementary School, according to MCSO.
Rojas fired 10 to 12 rounds and was unresponsive to deputies' directions, Sheriff Paul Penzone said at a news conference Thursday.
The suspect then barricaded himself in a house directly across from the school. SWAT responded and officials quickly initiated a lockdown of the school, Penzone said.
The occupants of the house were safely evacuated during the incident, officials said.
Tempe SWAT responded and established a perimeter. The man pointed his weapon and fired at MCSO’s SWAT team who returned fire and killed the man. Officials said no deputies were injured.
The suspect's weapon was a gun stolen from a vehicle in Tempe prior to the shooting with deputies, according to Sheriff Penzone. He stated the gun belonged to Phoenix Police Officer. Phoenix Police confirmed the officer's personal weapon was reported stolen from the officer's vehicle in Tempe.
Sheriff Penzone said Rojas lived in Guadalupe but didn't have any connection to the home where he was barricading himself. Rojas has a record with several Valley police departments and has been booked into MCSO jail 19 times, according to Sheriff Penzone.
"We don’t know what his motive was," Sheriff Penzone said Thursday. "We don’t know what his intentions were. We don’t know on this particular day he chose to walk through town firing rounds."
The Tempe Union School District told 12 News that day the school was placed on a brief lockdown. No students or staff were injured in the incident.
Up to Speed
Catch up on the latest news and stories on the 12 News YouTube channel. Subscribe today.