A 31-year-old California man has been identified as the suspect who was killed in a shootout with authorities Wednesday morning in Quartzsite.
The Arizona Department of Public Safety on Thursday identified the deceased as Rodolfo Ballardo, of Wasco, Calif., and his accomplice as Marcos Ricardo Ruiz-Zazueta, 43, of Mexico.
Ruiz-Zazueta is being held in a La Paz County jail on suspicion of first-degree murder and several drug violations.
Authorities say Ruiz-Zazueta drove and Ballardo was riding shotgun in a 2008 Ford Mustang at about 1 a.m. Wednesday. They were about 60 miles west of Phoenix on Interstate 10 when a DPS trooper pulled them over for a suspended license plate.
Authorities said the trooper asked the driver to exit the Mustang. At the same time, Ballardo got out from the passenger seat and shot at the trooper, DPS said. The trooper fired back and Ballardo drove away.
Border Patrol agents found the Mustang on I-10 and began to chase Ballardo. About six miles into the chase, Ballardo abandoned the car and ran across the other side of the highway. It was there that the first exchange of gunfire happened between Ballardo and Border Patrol agents, according to DPS.
Ballardo then broke into a semitruck on the side of the road and beat the sleeping driver before stealing the rig, records show. The driver had injuries, but did not need to go to the hospital.
Ballardo continued on I-10 eastbound and exited near Quartzsite, again exchanging gunfire with…
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