At approximately 4 a. m. on January 22, illegal immigrant Apolinar Altamirano shot and killed 21-year-old Mesa, Arizona, store clerk Grant Ronnebeck over a pack of cigarettes, according to police documents.
Altamirano was apprehended 90 minutes later, after allegedly leading law enforcement on a high-speed chase.
According to AZ Central, Ronnebeck was working the graveyard shift at a Quick Trip (QT) convenience store when Altamirano came in, asked for a pack of cigarettes, and pushed a pile of change onto the counter. Altamirano became aggravated when Ronnebeck refused to hand over cigarettes before counting the change, so he put a gun to Ronnebeck’s head, court documents allege.
Ronnebeck first said, “I can’t give you the cigarettes until I count the money,” then realized the gravity of the situation and handed the cigarettes to Altamirano anyway. At that point, police say, Altamirano shot Ronnebeck, who died shortly thereafter.
Altamirano was apprehended at 5:30 am after the high-speed chase. He was “arrested on suspicion of first degree murder, armed robbery, burglary, unlawful flight and misconduct involving weapons because he was a prohibited possessor.” Altamirano was prohibited from possessing firearms because of a burglary charge in 2012, “amended [to a] charge of facilitation to commit burglary,” which resulted in a two-year probationary period.
A court document states that “he was born in Mexico and was in the US illegally.” A judge in Altamirano’s case had ordered that US immigration officials be notified.
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