Sunday, May 1, 2011



Note: Know the area well, can be a rough place.

One Buckeye officer killed, another wounded, in Phoenix
by D.S. Woodfill and Laurie Merrill - May. 1, 2011 03:10 PM
The Arizona Republic

One Buckeye police officer is dead and another in critical condition
with multiple gunshot wounds after an altercation with three suspects
escalated into a gun battle in the area of 1800 S. 35th Ave. in
Phoenix early Sunday, Phoenix police said.

One suspect is also dead and another is in critical condition with
multiple gunshot wounds, said Phoenix Police Sgt. Tommy Thompson. The
third suspect fled the scene, he said.

"Anytime an officer dies, it tears at the core of our community,"
Thompson said. "If a person is willing to shoot at an officer they
are certainly willing to shoot at a member of the community."

Buckeye Police Department identified the deceased officer as Rolando
Tirado, a married father of two children. Tirado has been a police
officer for 11 years, seven of which he spent with Buckeye.

Officer Christopher Paz, a four year veteran of the department, was
listed in critical condition after being shot multiple times.

The fatal shooting of the Buckeye police officer is Buckeye's first
police fatality in 2011, according to records.

Thompson said the two officers were working off-duty security detail
at a business called El Gran Mercado, as is common for police
officers, when they became involved in a dispute with three suspects
around 1 a.m. that turned into a gun fight.

The location is known for hosting events, such as concerts or
dancing, but it's unclear what was being hosted Saturday night,
Thompson said.

The swap meet, where beer is sold, was the scene of a Maricopa County
Sheriff's Office raid in September, 2009. More than 200 deputies and
posse members converged on the market. They arrested 53 people,
including 10vendors, 24 of whom were undocumented, sheriffs said.
They also seized thousands of boot-legged DVDs said to be worth more
than $100,000.

Every day across Maricopa County, hundreds of police officers work
extra duty shifts to help pay bills, buy Christmas gifts and save for
their children's colleges, Thompson said.

It was unclear why Buckeye officers were working the Phoenix detail
instead of Phoenix officers. It is also not known if other off-duty
officers were on the scene, Thompson said.

"Investigators are on the scene meticulously combing evidence to
determine what led up to a deadly gunbattle," Thompson said.

The Buckeye officer's death came a day before the 38th Arizona Peace
Officers Memorial Service. It is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Monday at
the Wesley Bolin Memorial Park near the State Capitol.

The event honor officers slain in 2010, and puts their names on a
plaque. Those slain last year include: Officer Carlos Ledesma,
Chandler Police Department; Officer Travis Murphy, Phoenix Police
Department; Deputy Brian Harris, Kane County Sheriff Department;
Agent Michael Gallagher, United States Border Patrol and Agent Brian
Terry, United States Boarder Patrol.

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