CASA GRANDE – A 19-year-old Casa Grande man has been arrested after he allegedly fired a gun into the air.

According to a Casa Grande Police report, Cuahutemoc de Alvarado, 19, was arrested on suspicion of unlawful discharge of a firearm, failing to admit to carrying a deadly weapon, carrying a deadly weapon under the age of 21, disorderly conduct with a weapon, endangerment and false reporting to law enforcement.

At 10:34 p.m. on March 20, officers responded to a call of shots fired near Fourth Street and Pueblo Drive. When officers arrived they spoke with a man, who said he was cleaning out the front of his truck when he saw a “kid,” later identified as de Alvarado, walking down the street going west on Fourth Street toward Pueblo Drive.

The man said a vehicle drove by on Pueblo Drive and he heard a single gunshot. He ducked and looked over and saw de Alvarado carrying a black firearm. The man told officers he saw de Alvarado tuck the gun into his waistband and start walking south on Pueblo Drive and then west on Third Street.

The man said he wasn’t sure if de Alvarado was shooting at him, in the air or at the vehicle. The man gave officers a description of de Alvarado and what he was wearing but declined to go with officers to confirm de Alvarado’s identity as the possible shooter.

A woman at the home told officers that she was inside the home and did not see what happened but she did hear the gunshot. She thought she heard two gunshots. After the shots were fired, she said she went outside and saw de Alvarado walking down Pueblo Drive and turn onto Third Street.

The man took officers to where he saw de Alvarado fire the gun. Officers found a spent 9 mm casing on the ground.

While one officer was talking with the witnesses on Fourth Street, two other officers were searching for de Alvarado. One officer spotted de Alvarado near the intersection of Trekell Road and Second Street wearing clothes that matched the description that the male witness had given officers.

As the officer pulled up behind de Alvarado in his patrol vehicle, he saw Alvarado allegedly adjusting something in the front of his pants near his waistline. He called to de Alvarado to stop walking using his loudspeaker and saw de Alvarado allegedly adjusting something in his front waistband again.

The officer got out of his vehicle with his weapon drawn and de Alvarado allegedly looked back at the officer, adjusted something in his pants again before taking a few more steps and stopping to look at the officer again. The officer ordered de Alvarado to put his hands on his head and he did so. The officer noted in his report that he did not see anything that resembled a pistol in the area of de Alvarado’s waistline.

The officer then ordered de Alvarado to get down on his knees, as de Alvarado did so, he allegedly removed one hand from his head to adjust something near his front waistline and then put his hand back on his head.

A second officer arrived on the scene and the two officers took de Alvarado into custody. The officers patted de Alvarado down as he was lying on his side on the ground and were unable to find a gun. They sat him on the curb and de Alvarado allegedly told them that an unknown man had fired a gun at him near Pueblo and Fourth Street. The officers asked him if he had any weapons on him. De Alvarado allegedly told them “no, nothing.”

After reading de Alvarado his rights, an officer began to interview him and asked again if he had any weapons. De Alvarado again allegedly denied having a weapon. The officer asked if he could search de Alvarado, de Alvarado allegedly denied the request. The officer then told de Alvarado that he was going to check to see if he had a gun.

The officer walked de Alvarado back to his patrol vehicle and asked de Alvarado to separate his feet because he seemed to be holding them together in an odd way. 

As the officer patted down de Alvarado’s left leg he felt something that appeared to be a phone and another object. The object, which felt like a pistol to the officer, began to fall down de Alvarado’s pant leg. As the officer pulled the pistol from the bottom of the pant leg, de Alvarado allegedly told him to be careful because the gun was loaded.

Officers described the gun as a 9 mm with an extended magazine that could hold 31 rounds. The gun had two rounds in the magazine and one in the chamber.

Officers secured the gun and took de Alvarado to the station for another interview. During that interview, de Alvarado was asked why he allegedly told officers he didn’t have a gun. He allegedly told officers that he denied having the gun because he knew he was underage and couldn’t have a gun and didn’t want officers to take it from him. He allegedly said he stuffed it down three layers of pants.

He also allegedly told officers that a man on a bike wearing a dark hat and gray jacked had shouted slang terms at him near Pueblo and Fourth Street. The man asked him what he was doing there, while riding around him in a circle on the bike. The man had a gun in his hand and fired it into the air before riding off eastbound on Third Street. De Alvarado said he was scared and ran away heading westbound on Third Street.

When asked why he didn’t call the police, de Alvarado said his phone was dead. Officers checked and his phone was dead.

Officers also noted that de Alvarado appeared to have some mental health problems based on how he was acting during the interview.

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Suzanne Adams-Ockrassa is a reporter covering the city of Casa Grande and the surrounding area, as well as Central Arizona College. She can be reached at sadams@pinalcentral.com.