Sandal Prints Lead To Teen Power Plant Employees’ Shooter

Forensic science and strong field work by Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office detectives led to the arrest of a West Valley Man for shooting at power plant employees as they drove to work early Sunday morning. Hipolito Rodriguez, age 18, was taken into custody by detectives and booked on two counts of Aggravated Assault and one count of promoting Prison Contraband.

Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) detectives do not believe the power plant staff was specifically targeted by the shooter.

MCSO detectives believe that Rodriguez, dressed entirely in black and wearing a black bandana around his mouth and chin, shot at two vehicles driving to Salt River Project’s (SRP) Mesquite Generating Station and Arizona Public Service’s (APS) Redhawk Power Plant. Both are located in Arlington. The bullets hit the vehicles and did not injure their drivers, who reported the incidents to their internal security and MCSO.

Detectives surveyed the scene and found pieces of the damaged cars and a set of shoe prints. The prints led them to a nearby residence where they found Rodriguez. He had sandals with soles matching the prints found at the shooting location. The sandals are made from recycled tires and numbers from those tires protrude from the soles of the footwear making a distinctive print.

A search warrant was executed and detectives were also able to locate the suspected weapon, a shotgun. During questioning, detectives discovered that Rodriguez was in possession of methamphetamine.

“Our success quickly solving this violent crime reflects dedication, professionalism, and great teamwork,” said Detective Sergeant Aldo Felix. “Crime lab technicians and detectives working together are a powerful combination in fighting crime.”

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