Two Casa Grande Police Department employees remained hospitalized Thursday, the day after one victim’s estranged husband reportedly shot them both, spurred a region-wide manhunt and ultimately turned a gun on himself, officials said.
Robert Price, a patrol corporal, and Yvette Rodriguez, a police department records clerk, were shot about 10 a.m. Wednesday while in a vehicle on Lakeside Parkway near Casa Grande Avenue, police said. Pinal County court records show the woman had filed for divorce on Tuesday against the alleged gunman, 37-year-old Juan Pablo Rodriguez-Fregoso.
It remained unclear Thursday whether the two shooting victims were in a romantic relationship. Officials were mum regarding what else might have spurred the shooting that left the 80-officer department reeling.
“I don’t know what their personal relationship is,” Officer Thomas Anderson told The Arizona Republic Thursday afternoon, adding they certainly would have crossed paths and worked together in some capacity given the nature of their assignments.
Rodriguez was shot once in her upper back, and Price suffered several gunshot wounds in his leg and torso, police said. They were flown to Phoenix-area hospitals, where they remained Thursday afternoon.
“She is stable and doing well … and he is stable and in good spirits,” Anderson said.
Police first reported the shooting on Facebook as an “off-duty officer involved shooting” but on Twitter referred to it only as an “OIS.”
Anderson acknowledged the confusion created by the tweet but added it was merely an oversight brought on by social-media character limits and an exceedingly unusual situation for any department, let alone one of the Casa Grande Police Department’s size that rarely deals with police shootings of any type.
After the shooter fled the scene, investigators with the U.S. Marshals Service’s Arizona Most Wanted Task Force spotted Rodriguez-Fregoso on the Loop 202 westbound.
He pulled the white Mitsubishi Galant to the side of the freeway east of Dobson Road in Mesa, where investigators say he fatally shot himself.
No additional details about the investigation were released Thursday.
The Mesa Police Department is investigating Rodriguez-Fregoso’s death, and the Casa Grande Police Department is leading the investigation into the earlier shooting that involved its employees.
Follow public safety reporter Jason Pohl on Twitter: @pohl_jason.
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