Mesa barricade situation sparks evacuations, ends peacefully

Posted: Updated:

MESA -- Hostage negotiators were out a Mesa apartment complex late last night and early this morning to deal with a barricade situation that started with a domestic fight.

Police standoff

Hostage negotiators eventually talked the suspect out of his apartment.

Search Video:

Police were called to the Covina Court Apartments near Eighth Street and Gilbert Road shortly after 11 p.m. Thursday.

When officers arrived on the scene, the suspect, Ralph Martinez, fired at them with a shotgun, hitting a nearby building. He then barricaded himself inside his apartment.

Investigators believe Martinez had been drinking and later discovered that he had had a physical fight with his girlfriend, the mother of his two children.

The girlfriend and the kids were able to leave the apartment before Martinez started firing.

Nearly 30 units in the complex were evacuated as a precaution while negotiators tried to convince Martinez to give himself up.

While officers were evacuating those apartments, Martinez fired at them three more times, police said.

According to police, Martinez was threatening to kill himself.

After about four hours of negotiation, Martinez surrendered without further incident.

Nobody was injured in the shooting, but the girlfriend, whose name has not been released, had some visible bruising and red marks on her neck from the original fight, investigators said.

Martinez is facing charges of aggravated assault, discharging a firearm and domestic violence assault.