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Man killed in shootout with Arizona trooper previously lived in Wasco

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Posted at 1:36 PM, Sep 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-14 16:39:25-04

QUARTZSITE, AZ (ABC15) - The man killed in a shootout with an Arizona trooper on Wednesday had ties to Kern County. 

Arizona Department of Public Safety officials said a trooper pulled over a Ford Mustang just before 1:00 a.m. on Wednesday for a suspended license violation.

As the trooper was investigating, 31-year-old Rodolfo Ballardo, who had a last known address out of Wasco, exited the vehicle and began firing shots at the trooper. The trooper fought with the suspect and was able to get the away.  

According to DPS, the trooper was able to fire at the suspect's vehicle while the suspect fled the scene.

The driver of the vehicle, 43-year-old Marcos Ricardo Ruiz-Zazueta stayed on the scene and was taken into custody for first-degree murder, conspiracy commit possession of dangerous drugs, conspiracy to posses dangerous drugs for sale and conspiracy to commit transporation of a dangerous drug for sale.

DPS said Border Patrol and La Paz County Sheriff's Office searched the area for Ballardo.They were able to locate his vehicle near Interstate 10 milepost 11. 

Ballardo ran from his vehicle and was able to find a semi-truck that was at a rest stop. He allegedly broke into the truck, beat up the driver and took the truck at gunpoint. 

According to DPS, Ballardo was spotted again on Interstate 10 near milepost 17. Officials fired at the suspect and he was pronounced dead at the scene. 

No law enforcement officials were seriously injured in the incident.