Officer involved shooting leaves one dead: Suspects identified

YUMA, Ariz. - Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents were involved in a shooting that led to one man dead in Quartzsite Wednesday morning.

The suspect, 31-year-old Rodolfo Ballardo of Wasco, California, was killed after a pursuit that led to an officer-involved shooting. 

The second suspect, Marcos Ricardo Ruiz-Zazueta, 43, of Mexico was booked and is facing charges of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit possession of dangerous drugs, conspiracy to possess dangerous drugs for sale, conspiracy to commit transportation of dangerous drugs for sale.

The shooting occurred in the 3100 block of Main Street.

At 12:56 a.m., a state trooper conducted a traffic stop on a blue Ford Mustang for a suspended license plate westbound along Interstate 10.

As the trooper had the driver exit the Mustang and discuss the reason for the traffic stop, the front seat passenger got out and fired a weapon at the trooper.

The trooper fired back and the suspect fled the scene in the Mustang, westbound along I-10.

At around 2:30 a.m., Border Patrol agents responded to a call for assistance from the La Paz County Sheriff’s Office.

Border Patrol located the Mustang and attempted to stop it, with the pursuit ending six miles later. There was an exchange of gunfire at this location between the suspect and USBP agents.

The suspect fled on foot across the highway to the eastbound side and broke into a commercial truck-tractor with an attached semi-trailer. He then took possession of the commercial truck by force from the driver. The commercial truck driver sustained injury but was not transported for medical treatment.

The suspect drove the commercial truck eastbound along I-10 and was pursued by the La Paz County Sheriff’s Office, USBP and State Troopers. The suspect took exit 17 and exchanged gunfire with troopers, agents, and deputies.

The suspect continued towards Main Street, where the truck was finally stopped and a final exchange of gunfire occurred at a gas station in the 3100 block of Main Street.

The suspect was hit during the exchange of gunfire and was transported via air ambulance to an area hospital but later succumbed to his injuries.

There were no agents, other law enforcement or bystanders injured during this incident.

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