A standoff between police and an armed man in Rancho El Dorado today ended peacefully with the man being arrested by a Chandler Police SWAT team.
James Brent Gallup, 59, was found on the roof of a home in the 41000 block of Sunland Drive, about a quarter mile east of Pima Butte Elementary School. The school was placed on lockdown most of the day under orders from the Maricopa Police Department.
The standoff lasted for about eight hours. Police were initially dispatched to the scene at 7:20 a.m. as a result of complaint about a man threatening neighbors with a gun. Several gunshots were heard after officers arrived on the scene, and a decision was made to call in Pinal County Sheriff’s Office Regional SWAT team. The SWAT team surrounded the house and neighbors were safely evacuated.
In a statement about how the situation was resolved, MPD spokesman Sgt. Hal Koozer said, “At around 3:00 pm Chandler SWAT arrived on scene to relieve the PCSO Regional SWAT Team. The SWAT team was able to make entry into the home. Upon their entry, they found 59-year-old James Brent Gallup on the roof. He came down and complied with officers. Gallup will be charged with multiple criminal charges and was booked at the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office. There were no civilians or officers injured during this standoff.”
Koozer had earlier declined to comment on whether Gallup, whom MPD had identified as the suspect early in the day, has a criminal record.
Between 20 and 30 MPD and PCSO officers were on the scene throughout the day. The Maricopa Community Emergency Response Team provided shade, chairs and water to residents who were kept out of their homes as the situation played out. Maricopa Police chaplains also were available to counsel those in the area if needed.
Koozer said negotiators for MPD were on the scene throughout the day attempting to communicate with the suspect, but he did not know whether they had been able to connect prior to the arrest.
“We’ve got a professional team that does a great job of talking them down, securing them, and getting them the help that they need. It’s obviously a mental health issue of some sort, whether it was drug induced we don’t know but he’s certainly not acting rationally.”
In a letter to Pima Butte parents, principal Elizabeth Allison described the situation, saying, “This morning, Pima Butte Elementary School was advised by the Maricopa Police Department to place the school in lockdown due to a police situation in the neighborhood,” the letter said. “Staff is monitoring the arrival of students who walk to school and are escorting them into the building. Students who arrive by parent drop-off are being asked to remain with their parents until the lockdown is over.
“As always, our first priority is student safety, and thank you for your patience and cooperation while we respond to this neighborhood situation.”
This is the second situation involving gunfire in the city this week. Early Monday morning an as yet unidentified shooter fired at least 16 shots into the north wall of the C building at the Oasis at the Wells apartments. No one was injured in that incident.