Illegal Immigrant Accused of Killing Store Clerk Was Out on Bond
Federal officials have revealed that a man accused of killing an Arizona convenience store clerk is an illegal immigrant who was awaiting a deportation hearing.
Apolinar Altamirano, 29, had been released on bond two years ago by federal authorities following a burglary charge.
Apolinar Altamirano pleaded guilty in 2012 to a burglary charge but did not serve time in prison. U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement took him into custody Jan. 3, 2013, shortly after learning of his conviction.
But the agency decided Altamirano was eligible for bond, and he was released Jan. 7, 2013.
Since then, a Mesa court has issued two injunctions similar to a protection order against Altamirano.
Police say the 29-year-old shot and killed 21-year-old Mesa store clerk Grant Ronnebeck last week.
Ronnebeck already was handing Altamirano a pack of cigarettes when Altamirano shot him. Altamirano then walked over Ronnebeck, grabbed cigarettes and fled.
Arizona's Attorney General Mark Brnovich reacted this morning on "Fox and Friends," expressing shock that Altamirano was still allowed to remain free after allegedly threatening to kill his girlfriend.
"If someone like this can remain in this country even though he's here illegally and committed crimes, you have to ask yourself: what is the Obama administration doing? What are their policies? Why are they allowing people like this to stay in our communities and be threats to our wives, families, children, husbands and fathers?" he asked.
Brnovich said he is sympathetic to the immigration reform movement, but argued that the effort needs to start with securing the border and deporting illegal immigrants who break the law.