Suspect dead after officer-involved shooting in Casa Grande

Posted: Updated:
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5 and Casa Grande Police Department) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5 and Casa Grande Police Department)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Police say Juan Pablo Rodriguez-Fregoso, 37, is the suspect. (Source: Casa Grande Police Dept.) Police say Juan Pablo Rodriguez-Fregoso, 37, is the suspect. (Source: Casa Grande Police Dept.)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

The suspect in an officer-involved shooting earlier in the day is dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Casa Grande police say the Wednesday morning officer-involved shooting happened near a middle school.

Thomas Anderson, a CGPD spokesman, said the two victims are an off-duty police officer and an off-duty civilian employee of the department.

He also named the suspect -- Juan Pablo Rodriguez-Fregoso, 37, of Casa Grande.

Rodriguez-Fregoso reportedly died Wednesday afternoon near the Loop 202 and Dobson from a self-inlficted gunshot wound.

CGPD tweeted a photo of Rodriguez-Fregoso, saying he fled the scene in an "unknown vehicle." 

Anderson was not able to say if the victims had any connection with Rodriguez-Fregoso, nor did he say what precipitated the shooting.

When asked if this might have been a targeted attack on police, Anderson said, "It certainly hasn't been ruled out."

Both victims were flown to Phoenix-area hospitals. At last check, one, a woman, was in stable check; the other, a man, was undergoing surgery, according to Anderson.

[SLIDESHOW: From the scene]

[WATCH RAW VIDEO: New chopper over the scene]

"We have a lot of help from a lot of agencies," Anderson said. "I want the public to know there are a lot of law-enforcement agencies, a lot of law-enforcement officers in our community right now."

Aerial video from the Penguin Air & Plumbing News Chopper showed the command post, including teams from the Pinal County Sheriff's Office, CGPD and Border Patrol.

"They're going to be around this community quite a bit," Anderson continued. "Please don't be afraid of what you see when you see them around. If they ask you questions or ask you to do something, please help them out. Please do what they ask you to do."

The shooting happened at about 10 a.m. on Lakeside Parkway near Villago Middle School, which was on lockdown for a time, as was the nearby Early Childhood Education Center.

Casa Grande Union High School and McCartney Ranch Elementary School were on lockdown, as well, "as [a] precaution," according to a tweet from the City of Casa Grande.

The City also tweeted that all of the students are safe, describing the lockdown as "simply a safety measure."

According to Startclass by Graphiq, the elementary, middle and high schools together serve more than 3,300 students.

Those lockdowns were lifted shortly before noon.

"Our team of employees pulled together in a wonderful way to ensure we had plans to feed and dismiss students should the lockdown take longer than expected," JoEtta Gonzales, superintendent of the Casa Grande Elementary School District, said in an email to the "CGESD family." "The students in our care remained the priority throughout the ordeal, and for that I am very appreciative."  

In addition to the school lockdowns, there were restrictions in the Villago subdivision.

Casa Grande is about an hour south of Phoenix via Interstate 10.

This is the 13th officer-involved shooting outside the Valley this year. There have been twice that many in the Phoenix metro area.

[RELATED: 2017 officer-involved shootings]

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