Suspect Fires at Officers in Hour-Long Shooting

On Tuesday, March 24, 2020 around midnight, the Chandler Police Department’s Communications Section received multiple 911 calls in reference to shots fired from the vicinity of Commonwealth Avenue and Hamilton Street. Through these calls, dispatchers were able to narrow down the location of the shots to the parking lot of an apartment complex at 651 E. Commonwealth Avenue.

Zachary Victor Rhodes (Photo courtesy of MCSO)

When the first officer arrived on-scene he immediately took-on gunfire. Multiple rounds struck this officer’s patrol car, to include the windshield. The officer was able to take cover behind his vehicle. During this time, additional officers arrived on-scene.

A Mesa Police Department helicopter was dispatched to assist. Meanwhile, the suspect continued to fire rounds as he moved east along Commonwealth Avenue. When the helicopter arrived at the scene, the crew located the suspect.

Officers on the ground coordinated a perimeter. Eventually, the suspect moved to a dirt lot along Commonwealth Avenue and two blocks west of McQueen Road. He complied with commands from the Mesa police officers in the helicopter, and was taken into custody around 1:00AM.

The suspect was identified as 26-year-old Zachary Victor Rhodes, a resident of 651 E. Commonwealth Avenue.  Along with the AR-15, Rhodes was in possession of at least one handgun, which he also used to fire at officers and in the air. A search of Rhodes apartment revealed loaded rifle magazines.

In all, investigators estimate Rhodes fired around 100 rounds from the AR-15 rifle and handgun. No officers fired a round from their weapons. Miraculously, no injuries were reported.

Rhodes was booked into the Maricopa County Jail on seven counts of Attempted 1st Degree Murder and Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon. All seven victims are Chandler police officers. Rhodes is currently being held on a two-million dollar cash bond.

More charges will likely follow.