A Tucson police SWAT standoff between about 80 police personnel and a Tucson man holed up in a midtown home containing weapons could have easily turned deadly.

Tucson police dog with officer/file photo

It instead ended with minor injuries and an arrest of the suspect, according to a Tucson Police news release.

Suspect Ronald Zimmer, 55, faces charges of second-degree burglary, criminal damage and weapons misconduct, all of which are felonies. He also suffered a small laceration to the head and a bite from a police canine.

Good dog.

The two-hour ordeal began when a 50-year-old woman called police around 2 a.m. Oct. 2 from the Bashful Bandit bar, at East Speedway and North Dodge boulevards, to report her boyfriend had just assaulted her and was now on his way to her nearby home at Third Street and Dodge.

Police were at the Bashful Bandit within five minutes of the call, noted the woman had minor injuries from the reported assault, and learned the woman’s 20-year-old son was home alone.

Zimmer also knew where the woman kept her weapons.

While police were taking her report, Zimmer was allegedly busy forcing his way into her townhouse in the 3700 block of East Third Street and grabbing at least one gun.

The woman’s son fled from the house with no injuries.

Police arrived at the townhouse to find Zimmer standing in the driveway with a rifle, which he shot into the air before returning to the house and barricading himself inside.

The negotiations began.

Officers on the scene as well as an on-duty Hostage Negotiations Unit member from another patrol division tried to negotiate with Zimmer on the phone and through a public address system.

No go.

Rather than respond to negotiations, Zimmer instead reportedly fired several shots inside the house.

By this time a K9 team and SWAT personnel were also on the scene and a call went out for addition SWAT members.

Before more members arrived, Zimmer suddenly came out of the house with a handgun pointed at his head.

“Several minutes of tense standoff ensued until the officers were able to convince the suspect to set the gun down briefly,” the release noted.

Police then unleashed PepperBall “less-lethal munitions” and a K9 to stop Zimmer from grabbing back the gun.

Zimmer was taken to the hospital to treat his injuries, with his hospital stay followed by a booking into Pima County Jail.


What do you think?

Have you seen other SWAT standoffs in action? What was the outcome?

Have you ever been hit with a PepperBall?

Have you ever used non-lethal weapons to defend yourself?