On Saturday, October 27th, 2012 at 9:09 p.m. the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office received a 9-1-1 call from a resident in the 300 block of 5th Street, San Manuel. The caller reported that an unknown male individual was banging on their front door yelling for the homeowner to call 9-1-1.
Deputies arrived at the residence within minutes of the call being dispatched. Upon their arrival, they found Nicholas Angelo Lagunas (age 30 of Winkleman) laying on the ground outside of the residence. Lagunas was unconscious and bleeding from a gunshot wound to the chest. Despite the efforts by deputies and medical personnel, he was pronounced deceased at the scene.
PCSO Homicide Detectives responded to the scene and began conducting an investigation. During the course of the investigation, it was determined Nicholas Lagunas had been shot by Stephen Paul Dionne (age 29 of San Manuel). The two men had been involved in a verbal altercation at the home Dionne lived at in the 200 block of 5th Street, San Manuel. During the altercation, Dionne shot Lagunas in the chest. After being shot, Lagunas ran down the street to a house and began banging on the door yelling for help. Lagunas died at the scene as a result of the gunshot wound he received.
Following the shooting, Stephen Dionne fled the scene and went into hiding. On Thursday, November 1st, 2012 Homicide Detectives with the assistance of the U.S. Marshal’s Office were able to locate Dionne at a residence in Tucson near the intersection of Grant and Country Club.
Dionne was taken into custody and booked in the Pima County Jail for an outstanding Felony Probation ViolationWarrant. Today, Homicide Detectives will submit paperwork requesting that he be charged with 1st Degree Murder.
Sheriff Paul Babeu stated, “This case is another example of a tragedy which could have been avoided had County Attorney James Walsh held violent offenders accountable for their crimes. Dionne is known by law enforcement as a documented South Side Gang member who has a history of repetitive violent behavior. Had Dionne been put in prison for the past crimes he committed as required and not given probation, Nicholas Lagunas would be alive today. Walsh and his office have failed to properly prosecute, sixty-one percent of defendants charged with mandatory prison charges, making them the most dangerous people on our streets, instead he either releases them on probation or he completely dismisses the cases. This case unfortunately is another example to add to that list.”
Stephen Dionne is confirmed as a South Side Gang member in Maricopa County.
Stephen Dionne has a prior felony offense in Birmingham, Alabama where he is currently listed as a “Fugitive of Justice.”
Listed below in bullet points is his past arrest history involving violent crimes in Pinal County only. He has also been arrested in Pinal County for an assault, minor consumption of alcohol, driving on a suspended license and interference with a judicial proceeding.
- June 15th, 2009 Dionne while at the residence of his pregnant girlfriend, yelled obscenities at her in front of her three young children. He then broke her cell phone into pieces so she couldn’t call for help, he then took a BB gun from the home and shot her rear patio window causing it to shatter, he then took the BB gun and smashed it on top of her head causing a deep laceration. She had to receive medical attention because of the size of the wound. Dionne fled before deputies arrived.
Charges were filed by deputies for Aggravated Assault – Domestic Violence and Criminal Damage. Dionne plead guilty to the charges but was given no jail time only 3 years of probation.
- July 23rd, 2009 Dionne while at the residence of his pregnant girlfriend yelled obscenities at her in front of two her two young children. He then fired a handgun towards the floor to scare his girlfriend and the kids. He prevented her from leaving as she tried to get away from him. She called 9-1-1 and he fled.
Deputies submitted to the County Attorney’s Office a request that he be charged with Criminal Damage – Domestic Violence, Disorderly Conduct and Threatening and Intimidating. The County Attorney lost the paperwork and none of the charges were ever filed.
- September 19th, 2009 Dionne fled from deputies on a traffic stop and drove at 50 mph in a residential zone almost causing accidents with other vehicles. His license was already suspended. He eventually stopped the vehicle in a neighborhood and fled on foot. Deputies chased after him and ordered him to stop but he refused. Deputies lost sight of Dionne and he was able to get away. Inside of the vehicle he was driving, deputies found a “sawed off shotgun” with a barrel length of only 10 inches which is prohibited by law. The shotgun was loaded with 12 gauge shotgun shells and located right beside the driver’s seat.
Deputies submitted charges to the Pinal County Attorney’s Office for Unlawful Flight from Law Enforcement, Misconduct involving a Weapon and Reckless Driving. Dionne plead guilty to the charges but was given no jail time but rather placed is a diversionary program and placed on 3 years of probation.
- August 3rd, 2011 Deputies contacted Dionne regarding a suspicious person. He ran from the deputies and then tried to contact him and he then attempted to hide. He was taken into custody for outstanding warrants. The prior cases involved criminal damage, possession of a prohibited weapon, aggravated assault by means of force, driving on a suspended license and felony flight from a prior vehicle pursuit.
Dionne plead guilty to the charges but was given no jail time but rather allowed to attend a diversionary program and placed on 3 years of probation. Pinal County Attorney’s Office dismissed the suspended license charge.