Suspect in 3 Chandler officers’ shootings arrested after house fire

Apr 27, 2020, 12:48 PM | Updated: Apr 28, 2020, 7:30 am
(Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo)...
(Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo)
(Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo)

PHOENIX – Three police officers in Chandler were shot hours apart and a suspect fled from a burning house before a standoff ended, authorities said Monday.

The suspect, later identified as Rigoberto Polanco Jimenez, 35, was taken into custody around 12:30 p.m., Sgt. Jason McClimans said during a press conference.

McClimans said Jimenez, a longtime Chandler resident, was being treated for smoke inhalation and heat-related injuries.

Jimenez was booked on multiple charges, including arson, assault with a deadly weapon and prohibited possession of a firearm.

“The investigation is still ongoing,” McClimans said.

The first officer was shot following a foot chase near near Chandler Boulevard and Arizona Avenue at about 1 a.m.

McClimans said the officer pursued the suspect after the man attempted to enter another person’s vehicle.

The officer’s injuries were not life-threatening, according to McClimans.

Two more officers were shot nearby at Arizona Avenue and Galveston Street around 7:30 a.m., when police surrounded a home where they thought the suspect was hiding.

Neither of those officers suffered major injuries, McClimans said. One of the officers was saved by his bulletproof vest.

“Had he not been wearing his body-worn body armor, it’s very likely we would be talking about something different today,” McClimans said. “It basically saved his life.”

Dispatchers said the house where the suspect had holed up after the shootings near Arizona Avenue and Galveston Street was on fire around noon.

TV footage showed smoke billowing from the house and police officers surrounding the area.

The fire was believed to be started by the suspect, according to McClimans.

The suspect fled the flames to a nearby apartment complex, where he was arrested.

According to statistics compiled by KTAR News 92.3 FM, the incident represented the third, fourth and fifth Chandler officer-involved shootings in 2020, bringing the Phoenix-area total of shooting involving law enforcement for the year to 17.

KTAR News’ Jim Cross and Peter Samore contributed to this report.

(KTAR News Photo/Peter Samore) (KTAR News Photo/Peter Samore) (KTAR News Photo/Jim Cross) (KTAR News Photo/Jim Cross) (KTAR News Photo/Jim Cross) (KTAR News Photo/Jim Cross) (KTAR News Photo/Jim Cross) (KTAR News Photo/Peter Samore)

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Suspect in 3 Chandler officers’ shootings arrested after house fire