The Arizona Department of Public Safety (AZDPS) recently announced that El Mirage, Arizona, resident Saul Ballardo was sentenced to 26 years in prison for a series of attacks on law enforcement officers. The reckless acts included an attempted drone attack on an AZDPS Ranger helicopter carrying three crew members. During that incident, Ballardo attempted to ram a drone into the helicopter during a mission.

Ballardo committed a series of attacks between July 27, 2021, and December 30, 2021, and was sentenced after he pled guilty to four counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a class two felony.

During that timeframe, Ballardo conducted several shootings, targeting uniformed law enforcement officers from various agencies, including the City of El Mirage Police Department, the City of Surprise Police Department, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, the Arizona Department of Transportation’s Enforcement and Compliance Division, and the AZDPS. These incidents occurred within El Mirage, Youngtown, Surprise, and unincorporated areas of Maricopa County.

During the investigation, detectives determined that in addition to the helicopter incident, Ballardo was involved in a total of 14 distinct shootings. Ballardo targeted 48 law enforcement personnel in these incidents. Thankfully, no one was struck by gunfire. Ballardo’s reckless behavior not only endangered the public in the vicinity of each shooting but also instilled fear within the affected communities.

Post Image Credit- @azdps_rangers Instragram