Police Officer Rolando Tirado Buckeye Police Department Arizona EoW: Sunday, May 1, 2011

Photograph: Police Officer Rolando TiradoPatch image: Buckeye Police Department, Arizona

Police Officer Rolando Tirado
Buckeye Police Department

End of Watch: Sunday, May 1, 2011

Biographical Info
Age: Not available
Tour of Duty: 11 years
Badge Number: Not available

Incident Details
Cause of Death: Gunfire
Date of Incident: Sunday, May 1, 2011
Weapon Used: Gun; Unknown type
Suspect Info: Two shot; One at large

Police Officer Rolando Tirado was shot and killed while he and another officer attempted to breakup a disturbance at an establishment on South 35th Avenue in Phoenix.
Both officers, who were working an off duty assignment at the location, were shot by three gunmen while breaking up the disturbance.
Despite being wounded, the officers were able to return fire. One of the three suspects was killed, a second was wounded, and the third was able to flee the scene.
Officer Tirado succumbed to his wounds while the second officer was transported to a local hospital in critical condition.
Officer Tirado had served with the Buckeye Police Department for seven years and had served in law enforcement for an additional four years. He is survived by his wife and two children.

Agency Contact Information
Buckeye Police Department
100 North Apache
Suite D
Buckeye, AZ 85326
Phone: (623) 349-6400
Please contact the Buckeye Police Department for funeral arrangements or for survivor benefit fund information.

PHOENIX – Police have identified an off-duty Buckeye police officer who was killed early Sunday morning in Phoenix in a "shootout" that also left a suspect dead.

According to Buckeye police Lt. Jared Griffith, the officer was identified as Rolando Tirado, an 11-year veteran officer who has been with the Buckeye Police Department for seven years. He was married and had two children, said Griffith.

"He will be missed by all of us," said Doug Matteson with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.  "Everyone loved him.  He was always telling jokes.  Nobody had anything bad to say about him."

A second Buckeye officer who was injured in the incident was identified as Christopher Paz, a 4.5-year veteran with the Buckeye Police Department, according to Griffith.

"Outstanding officer," said Captain Scott Balak with the Buckeye Fire Department.  "Loved his job.  Fun to work with.  Just a real good guy."

Griffith said Tirado and Paz were working off-duty security at the El Gran Mercado near 35th Avenue and Buckeye Road when the incident happened around 1 a.m.

The officers contacted three male occupants of a vehicle that was driven recklessly on the property, Griffith said.

That’s when an altercation with the occupants turned into a gun battle, said Griffith, and Tirado was killed in the shootout.

Paz was shot numerous times and remains in critical condition at a local hospital, said Griffith.

"Very friendly, very nice guy," said Balak of Paz.  "He loved his job and did a great job at it."

The Phoenix Police Department says the case is ongoing and little information is available. It’s unclear how the shooting happened.

Phoenix police Sgt. Tommy Thompson said there were three suspects in the incident. One of the suspects was also killed in the shootout and a second suspect was wounded and remains in critical condition at the hospital.

A third suspect fled the scene, according to Thompson, and is being sought by authorities as of Sunday afternoon.

The suspects have not been identified at this time.

The Buckeye Police Department is scheduled to hold a news conference about the incident at 9 a.m. Monday.


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