Bodycam footage released of MCSO deputy shooting that killed gunman

Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone held a noon Thursday press conference where he showed body camera and drone footage depicting the shooting of deputy who killed gunman in Guadalupe last week.

Penzone said the MCSO received a call at 1:32 p.m. on May 18 about an armed man, later identified as Rolando Abel Rojas, 37 years old, walking along the street. Penzone said the first deputy responded to the scene within ten seconds and a second deputy responded shortly thereafter.

Penzone said Rojas started walking south toward Frank Elementary School when deputies told the 911 dispatcher to put the school on lockdown and called for a SWAT team.

Body camera footage released during the press conference shows a deputy ordering Rojas to lay down his gun, which Rojas appears to be unaware of. The deputy returns to his patrol vehicle and opens his door when the video goes black. The video then returns with the timestamp about a minute later with the deputy advancing towards a residence.

The deputy repeats his order for Rojas to put the gun down when several shots can be heard before the video fades to black again. Penzone said Rojas fired all of the shots heard during this portion of the video.

Disclaimer: The video below contains graphic content.

Penzone said Tempe police and the Department of Public Safety also responded to help, for which Penzone expressed gratitude. Penzone then showed drone footage without audio that appeared to show Rojas firing his gun multiple times from behind a chair.

The video appears to show Rojas shouting something at the officers before retreating after an MCSO “tactical team sniper” squad fired at him. Penzone said the sniper only fired one shot which ultimately killed Rojas.

Penzone said Rojas also had an extensive criminal history and had been incarcerated 19 times in MCSO prisons.

Penzone said Rojas stole the handgun from a Phoenix police officer’s vehicle in Tempe the day before and law enforcement did not know what caused Rojas to drive through Guadalupe while shooting a handgun. fire.

Deputies also helped evacuate the occupants of the house from which Rojas was firing through the back door during the clash.

Penzone praised his deputies for trying to defuse the situation and said Rojas’ actions required lethal force.

“We don’t choose deadly force as an option,” Penzone said. “Lethal force is the absence of an option where the subject’s behavior is such a threat to the community that no other option available will mitigate or prevent that threat from occurring.”

Contact reporter Perry Vandell at 602-444-2474 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @PerryVandell.

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