Arizona Man Sentenced to 26 Years in Prison for Targeted Attacks on Law Enforcement

On Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024, Saul Ballardo, a resident of El Mirage, Arizona, was sentenced to a total of 26 years in the Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Reentry for crimes he committed between July 27, 2021, and Dec. 30, 2021. Ballardo was sentenced after he pled guilty to four counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a class two felony.

Between those dates, Ballardo carried out multiple shootings targeting uniformed law enforcement officers from 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 Arizona Department of Public Safety (AZDPS) within the cities of El Mirage, Youngtown, Surprise, and unincorporated areas of Maricopa County.

During the investigation, detectives determined Ballardo was involved in a total of 14 separate shootings. Although no victims were struck by gunfire, Ballardo victimized 48 different law enforcement personnel across these 14 shootings, as well as three AZDPS Ranger helicopter crew members when he attempted to ram a drone into the helicopter during a mission. Ballardo’s reckless actions put the public in the area of each of those shootings at risk and incited a sense of fear in those communities.

This was an extensive investigation conducted by AZDPS Criminal Investigations Division detectives. The AZDPS would like to thank the El Mirage Police Department, Surprise Police Department, Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, Arizona Department of Transportation, and the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office for their assistance and cooperation with this investigation. Thanks to the hard work of all the individuals involved in this investigation, Ballardo can no longer terrorize our local communities.