PD: Man arrested in January murder in Avondale

Posted at 1:00 PM, Aug 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-02 17:17:42-04

A man has been arrested for the January murder of a cell phone shop owner in Avondale. 

Avondale police report that on July 27 they arrested 23-year-old Ronnie Alan Roper, for an armed robbery and murder that occurred on January 2, near 107th Avenue and Indian School Road. 

Witnesses at the time, reportedly told police there was a confrontation outside a home and the victim was able to get into a car and speed away. 

He was chased by another car, and two gunshots were heard. 

The victim, business owner Hemant Bhatia, then crashed his car into a wall. Witnesses say several people got out of the suspect’s car, looked at the victim, then left. 

Police say the victim's business bag containing money, money orders, and cell phones was stolen. 

After news reports of the murder, police received several tips from the community. Including one that named Roper as the killer. 

Roper was arrested on an unrelated warrant and denied being involved in a shooting. He then requested an attorney. 

Roper is being held on a $1,000,000 bond for first-degree murder and armed robbery.