Mesa police arrested a man on Tuesday morning after officials say he fatally shot a man and a woman at an apartment complex.
On Nov. 1 at about 11:15 p.m., police received numerous calls about shots being fired at a complex near Power Road and Main Street where responding officers found a man and woman with multiple gunshot wounds.
The man, 48-year-old Ronnie Lazalde, was pronounced dead at the scene while his wife, 41-year-old Natishia Lazalde, was transported to a hospital where she died at about 1:20 a.m.
Police say another man, Johnel Trinidad, 44, was with Natishia Lazalde in an apartment when Natishia and Ronnie Lazalde’s son visited and began to get into an argument with Trinidad. The three eventually left the apartment where the argument continued outside. The son walked over to Ronnie Lazalde’s apartment where he also joined in the argument.
Previous coverage:Police identify married couple killed in Mesa shooting
During the argument, police said Trinidad pulled out a gun and shot at Ronnie Lazalde and the son. The son pulled out his own gun and fired back at Trinidad while fleeing. After the two fired their weapons multiple times, both Ronnie and Natishia Lazalde had suffered gunshot wounds, while Trinidad had been shot in the leg and was taken to a hospital for treatment.
Arrest records state that Trinidad told detectives at the hospital that he had pulled a holstered gun from Natishia Lazalde and fired in self defense after her son had pulled his own gun out. Records state Trinidad told officers he only fired a couple of rounds at the son to prevent him from firing back.
The son, however, told police that he pulled his gun after watching his father collapse after Trinidad shot him and shot back at Trinidad while trying to flee the area. The son said Trinidad chased after him and continued shooting. He also told detectives that his mother was in a long-time affair with Trinidad, though documents don’t specify whether that sparked the initial argument.
Arrest documents say Trinidad admitted to police that he was prohibited from possessing a firearm and maintained he took it from Natishia Lazalde in self-defense. Police said they retrieved the 10 mm Glock handgun from Trinidad’s apartment and a 9mm handgun the son had used.
Preliminary results from Mesa police’s crime lab indicated the bullets retrieved from Ronnie and Natishia Lazalde’s bodies were 10 mm bullets with rifling consistent with that of a Glock handgun, Mesa police said.
Police arrested Trinidad on Tuesday and booked him into jail on two counts of manslaughter and one count of being a prohibited possessor.
Det. Richard Encinas, a Mesa police spokesperson, said the case remains under investigation and no other people have been charged related to the shooting as of Thursday afternoon.
Reach the reporter Perry Vandell at 602-444-2474 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @PerryVandell.
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