QuikTrip clerk killed, suspect is in country illegally

The man accused of gunning down a valley convenience store worker over a pack of cigarettes remains in jail.

There are still questions about why he was free since he was facing a deportation hearing over a burglary conviction.

The suspect was out on bond when police say he shot and killed the 21-year-old worker in Mesa.

The victim, 21-year-old Grant Ronnebeck was working at the Quick Trip store on Stapley and Broadway when Apolinar Altimirano asked for a pack of cigarettes and threw down change. 

He then got angry because the clerk was taking too long counting the change, police say Altimirano shot the worker. 

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio appeared on FOX News Channel and said this man should not have been free.

"They're supposed to check everyone that is booked into jail, if they are here illegally holds are placed, you cannot get back out until the case is adjudicated. It's very simple, after that you then turn them over to ICE, and they should be deporting these people, not letting them back out onto the streets. So they can make all the excuses, it's a breakdown, a serious situation facing our country and everybody can say everything is okay, and it's not okay," said Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

FOX 10's Troy Hayden had a chance to ask the Department of Homeland Security why Altimirano was out on the street and not deported. "People that are apprehended in and are put into our immigration removal process have rights and can seek bond, and sometimes immigration judges can sometimes grant it, it's their prerogative and that's what due process is all about," said Special Agent in Charge Matthew Allen.

When asked whether there should be any changes to the law, SAC Allen said, "That's really not my, I'm just a field leader, I work on operations in the field, my role is not to comment on immigration policy."

FOX 10 asked Allen about Arpaio's lawsuit accusing the agency of a backdoor policy. "It's very difficult for me to talk about a lawsuit that he's filed involving the federal government, once it goes to court it really is in the hands of the Department of Justice and Lawyers," he said.

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