YUMA, Arizona.- On Monday, December 12, 2022, at approximately 7:15 AM, the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office (YCSO) responded to a report of a male subject lying along the shoulder of the roadway in the area of Interstate 8 and Mile Marker 65.
According to Tania Pavlak, Public Affairs Specialist, the Arizona Department of Public Safety (AZDPS) was the first agency to arrive on scene and located the male subject who had apparent gunshot wounds and was pronounced deceased on scene. While on scene, a report of a vehicle collision on Interstate 8 and Mile Marker 54 was received. One of the vehicles involved in the collision was later discovered to be involved with the homicide.
The YCSO Criminal Investigations Bureau responded and assumed the investigation. The suspect was believed to still be on foot in the area and a search was commenced. The area was canvassed and with aerial assistance of Western Sky Helicopters, the suspect was located in the area of Mile Marker 54, in the desert.
The suspect, and father of the victim, Jose Gallardo, 36, of Mesa, AZ, was arrested and booked into the Yuma County Detention Center on 1st Degree Murder.
The victim was identified as Mario Nez, 19, of Tempe, AZ. Next of kin notification has been made.
Anyone with information regarding this case, please contact the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office at 928-783-4427 or 78-CRIME to remain anonymous. You can also visit our website at www.yumacountysheriff.org to submit an anonymous tip.