Friday, January 23, 2015



Note: In response to several requests: Take the time to read some of the details in this one.
"given bond by federal immigration authorities after pleading guilty"
Especially arrests and felony conviction. Kidnapping?

Suspect in US illegally before shooting death of Mesa store clerk
Posted: Jan 22, 2015 5:07 AM MST
Updated: Jan 23, 2015 10:30 AM MST
By Steve Stout

Mesa police cordoned off a QT convenience store and gas station after a clerk was shot to death early Thursday morning. (Source: CBS 5 News)
Pictures of 21-year-old Grant Ronnebeck show him as happy and full of life. (Source: Facebook)
News that he had been gunned down devastated his friends. (Source: Facebook)
Apolinar Altamirano in his booking photo Jan. 22, 2015. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)


An undocumented immigrant from Mexico was out on bond when he allegedly shot a store clerk in Mesa on Thursday.

Apolinar Altamirano, 29, was captured early Thursday morning in the West Valley after a chase with Mesa police and Arizona Department of Public Safety officers.

He is suspected of shooting and killing Grant Ronnebeck, 21, a clerk at the QT store at 414 S. Stapley Dr.

Police said surveillance video showed Altamirano walking into the QT about 4 a.m. Thursday and asking Ronnebeck for a pack of cigarettes. Ronnebeck asked several times what type of cigarettes, and Altamirano pointed to a pack behind the counter, a Mesa police officer said.

Altamirano then dumped a jar of coins onto the counter and Ronnebeck told him he needed to pay for the cigarettes first, the officer said.

Altamirano became agitated and pulled a gun and pointed it at Ronnebeck, who then tried to hand the suspect the pack of cigarettes.

Altamirano said, "You're not going to give me my cigarettes," and fired one shot into Ronnebeck.

Altamirano calmly walked behind the counter, over Ronnebeck's body and grabbed several packs of cigarettes before slowly walking out of the store.

A witness who had been in the store when Ronnebeck was shot flagged down an officer and provided a description of the suspect and the car he was driving, the officer said.

Mesa officers stopped a car and driver matching the descriptions and saw a handgun in the front passenger seat. As they tried to talk with the driver, he sped away, the officer said.

Several law enforcement agencies chased the car, and Arizona Department of Public Safety officers eventually stopped him at 19th Avenue and Buckeye Road, about 25 miles from the crime scene.

Police said Altamirano had been cited for trespassing at the same store Jan. 9 and was served with an injunction for harassment Jan. 19.

The Maricopa County Attorney's Office said Altamirano is in the U.S. illegally and was out on bond while U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement determined whether he should be deported.

Altamirano was booked into the Maricopa County Jail on felony counts of armed robbery, burglary, illegal possession of a weapon, unlawful flight and related charges.

He was being held on $1 million bond.

His next court appearance is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Jan. 29.

Police said Altamirano was removed from the same store for trespassing on Jan. 9.

He also was served with an injunction against harassment on Jan. 19 and is a convicted felon, which prohibits him from possessing firearms.

Altamirano has a short criminal history. He was arrested in August 2012 and in January 2013, he took a plea deal for second-degree burglary to have theft and kidnapping charges dismissed. He was sentenced to two years of probation.

QuikTrip officials issued this statement Thursday afternoon:

"As you are aware, law enforcement is still conducting their investigation. QuikTrip is absolutely devastated and heart broken by this tragic loss. Our deepest sympathies, thoughts and prayers are with our employee's family."

No other information was available.

Read more:

QuikTrip clerk killed, suspect is in country illegally
Posted: Jan 22, 2015 4:55 AM MST
Updated: Jan 23, 2015 12:18 PM MST
By FOX 10 News Staff

MESA, Ariz. - Officials say a suspect who gunned down a clerk at the QuikTrip near Stapley and Broadway is in the country illegally.

The clerk, Grant Ronnebeck, is being remembered as someone who was well-liked by people he worked with and by customers.

Mesa Police say an altercation occurred early Thursday morning that escalated to the clerk being shot. They say a customer, 29-year-old Apolinar Altamirano, came in with a pile of change to pay for a pack of cigarettes. While counting the change, Altamirano pulled out a gun and opened fire.

Ronnebeck was 21-years-old and worked the late shift at the QT store. He was at the register on Thursday morning when Altamirano allegedly walked in.

"The clerk at that point does grab a pack of cigarettes and hands them to the suspect, at which point the suspect shoots the clerk, even though he has just given him the pack of cigarettes," said Det. Steve Berry.

After Altamirano fled, Mesa Police Det. Steve Berry says a witness who heard the altercation and the shooting was able to flag down a Mesa police officer.

A description of Altamirano's car eventually led them to him. He then reportedly led officers on a 25-mile pursuit through the valley.

The pursuit ended when the vehicle crashed near 27th Avenue and Buckeye. Altamirano was taken into custody and is now facing murder charges.

During Altamirano's initial court appearance, the prosecutor says he is in the country illegally and was recently given bond by federal immigration authorities after pleading guilty to a burglary charge.

Samantha Hansen went to high school with the clerk and the two remained friends. "He had a big heart, he was a loving, outgoing, I mean for something like this to happen to him, you know is just unfair."

QuikTrip issued the following statement on the shooting:

"On behalf of the QuikTrip Family, we wish to express our deepest sympathies, our thoughts, and prayers to Grant's family, his friends, and co-workers. There are not enough words to capture our profound sorrow. QuikTrip is absolutely devastated and heart-broken by the tragic loss of Grant."

"Grant worked for QuikTrip for 4 and ½ years. He was extremely dedicated and very well-liked by his co-workers and customers. We will miss Grant's constant smile and his drive to be the best."


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