Shooting suspect eats meth before arrest

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Juan Gabriel Ramirez By Catherine Holland Juan Gabriel Ramirez By Catherine Holland

ARIZONA CITY and CASA GRANDE, Ariz. – A Casa Grande man who was already wanted on a felony warrant is in jail after shooting an acquaintance twice and then eating meth before deputies arrested him.

It happened Wednesday night.

Deputies in Pinal County were first alerted to the situation when the staff at Casa Grande Regional Hospital informed them that they were treating a patient with multiple gunshot wounds.

According to the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office, it all started earlier in the night when Juan Gabriel Ramirez asked a friend of his brother’s for a ride from Arizona City to his home in Casa Grande. Arizona City is about 20 minutes southeast of Casa Grande.

As the 39-year-old victim tried to stop for gas at the Loves Truck Stop off Interstate 10, Ramirez became agitated and paranoid, demanding that he keep going. According to investigators, the victim told them Ramirez was “acting really paranoid and crazy, like he was on something.”

That’s when Ramirez, 29, allegedly pulled out a gun and shot the victim in the right leg.

Although he was wounded, the victim kept driving. As he approached the intersection of Pinal Avenue and McMurray Boulevard in Casa Grande, Ramirez once again told him not to stop. Investigators said Ramirez shot the victim again, this time in the left leg.

Once they reached Ramirez’ mother’s house near Pinal and Palm avenues, the victim ran away, calling a friend for help. That friend took the victim, whose name has not been released, to the hospital. The victim’s wounds required surgery. His current condition is unknown.

Using information from the victim, they were able to track down Ramirez’ brother and positively identify Ramirez as the suspect. They also learned that Ramirez was wanted on an outstanding felony warrant for a parole violation. No other information about Ramirez’ previous was immediately available.

PCSO deputies set up a perimeter around Ramirez’ mother’s house and demanded he come outside.

According to Elias Johnson of PCSO, Ramirez was in the doorway at one point. He said, “I know, I know,” to the deputies before going back into the house. A short time later, he came back out and surrendered. Deputies arrested him without further incident.

Once they arrived at the PCSO substation in Casa Grande, Ramirez told officers he had a stomachache because he had eaten a “teener” of methamphetamine while deputies were outside his house. A teener is 1/16 of an ounce or about 1.75 grams.

“Using methamphetamine can have severe consequences,” said Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu in a news release. “This case also reminds us how dangerous it can be for someone to be around a user under the influence.”

Deputies said Ramirez also had a handcuff key on him when he was arrested. Johnson said Ramirez told the deputies he did know the key was in his pants.

Ramirez faces charges of aggravated assault in connection with the shooting. He is being held without bond on that felony warrant.