Arpaio: Former MCSO deputy committed suicide

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- A former deputy with the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, who was involved in a barricade situation last week, was found dead by deputies at his west Phoenix home on Thursday evening.

Ramon Armendariz, 40, apparently took his own life by hanging himself, according to Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

"It's very unfortunate," said Arpaio. "This situation started last Thursday when he called in about burglars around his house. When our deputies went in there found drugs. He resigned on Friday. He was evaluated again for mental condition and he was released from jail."

Arpaio said deputies found marijuana, heroin and methamphetamine inside the home near 33rd Avenue and Thunderbird Road.

Deputies went to the home Thursday to serve a warrant on Armendariz for violating the terms of his release from jail, but he did not come to the door.

Video from Chopper 3 showed Armendariz's house surrounded by MCSO personnel as they assessed the situation.

"You never know under the cirumstances whether he would shoot himself or shoot our deputies, so we wanted to make sure we had proper protection," Arpaio said.

He was arrested on drug charges early Monday morning following a more than five-hour standoff, but was out of jail on supervised release with electronic monitoring.

Armendariz was supposed to get an ankle monitor Wednesday but didn't show up.

He was with the sheriff's office for nearly nine years and a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, according to court documents.

"I thought he was nice," neighbor Amber Berard said. "He seemed like a nice guy and very friendly."

Court documents also stated that Armendariz had made suicidal gestures in the past.

Armendariz called 911 on May 1 and Phoenix police said they found him chasing a phantom burglar while armed with a pepper ball gun.