Man accused of killing couple during shootout with their son at Mesa apartment complex

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MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — A man is in custody after a shooting ended with a husband and wife dead at a Mesa apartment complex last week.

Police say 44-year-old Johnel Trinidad is accused of killing the woman he was having an affair with and her husband during a shootout with their son. On Nov. 1, officers were called out to Silver Creek Apartments near Power Road and Main Street on reports of a shooting. When officers arrived, they found 48-year-old Ronnie Lazalde and his wife, 41-year-old Natishia Lazalde, shot underneath a stairwell at the complex. The Lazalde’s were taken to the hospital but later died.

Court paperwork says officers found Trinidad bleeding after being shot near the couple. Trinidad told police Natishia’s son showed up at the complex and began to argue with him and the couple. Investigators said he claimed the son pulled out a gun, so he retaliated and grabbed a gun from Natishia’s holster, shooting her son in self-defense. Trinidad reportedly said he heard Natishia begging him not to shoot her son and saying she had been shot. However, he denied having his own gun and said he only grabbed the gun from Natishia when her son shot at him first, investigators said.

Court documents say Natishia’s son told officers his mother was having a long-time affair with Trinidad. The night of the shooting, he alleged he went to Trinidad’s apartment to visit his mother. However, police say Trinidad and the son began arguing and walked outside the apartment where Ronnie was. The group began arguing when Trinidad reportedly pulled out a gun and shot Ronnie in front of his son. The son said he immediately pulled out his own gun, started running away, and began shooting at Trinidad. A chase began between the two, with both shooting at each other in the complex.

On Monday, Trinidad was arrested and told investigators the same story, alleging Natishia’s son began shooting at him first before he shot back with Natishia’s gun, according to court paperwork. He claimed he only fired the gun a few times. Trinidad was booked on two counts of reckless manslaughter and one count of possession of a weapon by a prohibited person.

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