Illegal Immigrant Free on Bond Allegedly Murders Store Clerk

Maricopa County Sheriff's Office
Maricopa County Sheriff's Office

An illegal immigrant—who video surveillance reportedly shows calmly murdering a young store clerk in order to steal a box of cigarettes—was already out on bond from U.S. Immigration services and even had a previous conviction from which he had received no jail time.

Police captured Apolinar Altamirano, 29, late last week in West Valley after a brief chase with Mesa police and Arizona Department of Public Safety officers, local Mesa’s CBS affiliate reported on January 22.

Altamirano was being sought for the murder of Grant Ronnebeck, 21, a clerk at a local convenience store. Police arrested the illegal immigrant after seeing surveillance video that reportedly showed Altamirano shooting the clerk then calmly stepping behind the store counter and grabbing several packs of cigarettes before leaving the store.

This isn’t the first time the illegal immigrant has been in trouble with police.

KPHO reported that Altamirano “had been cited for trespassing at the same store Jan. 9 and was served with an injunction for harassment Jan. 19.”

The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office said that before the murder, Altamirano was already out on bond while U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement were attempting to determine whether he should be deported.

Altamirano also has a past conviction on his record. In 2012, Altamirano was convicted on a charge of burglary but had been released on probation with no jail time.

The victim’s employer released a statement on Thursday.

As you are aware, law enforcement is still conducting their investigation. QuikTrip is absolutely devastated and heart broken by this tragic loss. Our deepest sympathies, thoughts and prayers are with our employee’s family.

A Maricopa County Superior Court judge set bail at $1 million for the accused murderer. The suspect was being held, awaiting this next appearance in court scheduled for January 29.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at


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