April 30th, 2010
09:05 PM ET

Authorities: Ariz. deputy shot by suspected drug traffickers

[Updated at 11:00 p.m.] A sheriff's deputy in central Arizona was shot Friday afternoon by a suspected drug trafficker, authorities said.

The Pinal County deputy, who was not immediately identified, contacted authorities after being wounded in the desert, saying he had been shot by an illegal immigrant with an AK-47, said Lt. Tammy Villar, a sheriff's spokeswoman.

[Posted at 9:05 p.m.] A sheriff's deputy in central Arizona who was shot Friday afternoon by an alleged illegal immigrant has been found after authorities lost contact with him, according to CNN affiliate KPNX.

The report came from a KPNX reporter on board a chopper at the scene.

[Posted at 8:41 p.m.] A sheriff's deputy in central Arizona was shot Friday afternoon by a member of an alleged group of illegal immigrants, authorities said.

The Pinal County deputy, who was not immediately identified, contacted authorities after being wounded in a remote area, said Lt. Tammy Villar, a sheriff's spokeswoman. She said authorities believe he was shot with a AK-47. The deputy was being treated for the wound, but his condition was not immediately known, Villar said.

Pinal County is located between Phoenix and Tuscon and has been described as a key transit point for illegal immigrants. Sheriff Paul Babeu told CNN that an estimated 80 percent of illegal immigrants eventually pass through his county along the way to other locations.

Deputies in the department routinely patrol for illegal immigrants and smugglers, and it's not uncommon for them to be in the field alone, officials said.

It was not immediately clear what led the deputy to engage with the group on Friday.

- CNN's Casey Wian contributed to this report.

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  1. Bill

    Illegal immigration = slave labor. Why would anybody be in favor of that? This action was clearly done by a very bad person, but it underscores the need for a closed border.
    To those crying racism: Quit playing the race card, you look foolish.

    April 30, 2010 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Teaparty, no thanks

    Wow did they catch the people responsible, if not how do we know who shot the officer. The one think we know is the person probably bought his AK-47 in the US. But then thats where all the drug cartels get their weapons. Thank god Arizona will start working on stopping the sale of firearms as soon as the state solves the illegal immigrant issue

    April 30, 2010 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
  3. charles

    The idiots who contend that the violence is a result of the current passed anti-illegal immigration law should remove locks from their houses and cars, because locks are the cause of crimes.

    April 30, 2010 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Roberto

    "Alleged"? "undocumented"? "Immigrants"?

    How biased can a "news" site be? You don't represent us legal Mexican AMERICANS!
    You are not an immigrant unless you come here legally, like my family did. These people are coming in illegally and are called Illegal Aliens. It has nothing to do with race. It has to do with following the rule of law so we can continue with a lawful society. That is what makes this country a civilized place. The race baiting by the left is disgusting to me. Try visiting my home county of Mexico without your passport. You would be detained and harassed.

    April 30, 2010 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
  5. A PATRIOT

    To: bigbrother80-

    You say this law stems from hatred. Have you read the aw? This is not a primary offense which means a cop can"t just pull you over because you look illegal. There have to be a primary offense. If a cop pulls you over for speeding he can ask you for you information.
    How is that hatred? Please, I wait on the edge of my patrol car's seat for your witty response.....

    April 30, 2010 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
  6. L

    As a hispanic and Pinal County, Arizona resident, I agree with the law that our state is enforcing. My great grandparent came to this great nation legally from Mexico. They did it the right way, why can't others. I understand and a hispanic born american, there is possiblity of racial profiling in this state..That is one thing, I am concerned with as well. We have to entrust the law will not racial profile here in the state. We have to trust the law that is enforced here and trust our police that they will go after crime versus us people of colored skin. As our Gov. Brewer stated. racial profiling is illegal I believe the law enforcement will abide by the law, and not racial profile... And about the article, prayers to him and his family and all the law enforcement officers out there protecting us from crime.. and thank you for doing your job by going after the bad people..

    April 30, 2010 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
  7. california

    On you tube we have Illegals Threatening To Murder Americans With Axes and Shovels. This is what they want to do to us.

    youtube DOT com/watch?v=mDlutO0KK7g

    April 30, 2010 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Joe

    I'm from ILLINOIS and I support AZ law!

    Where you from?

    April 30, 2010 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Maria83

    Can't we agree that most of this violence isn't from the garden-variety illegal immigrants, but from hard-core drug traffickers? The average illegal immigrant who comes to the US looking for work does not have an AK-47. The average drug trafficker? More likely.

    The issue with the Arizone law is that it does NOTHING to target the actual source of the violence, which is the drug war spilling over our borders. I agree that the AZ law is absurd. We absolutely must do something about the true source of violence, however, or AZ, NM, and CA are just going to get more bloody over the next couple of years. Come up with a plan, Mr. Obama – how about we actually defend our homeland on our own borders for a change?

    April 30, 2010 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Legal Citizen

    AZ asked for this. There you go. That's what happens when you make stupid laws.

    Ignorant! I live in Arizona and the rest of the country doesn't see the impact illegal immigrants have on our state and country! This is a fine example of why we want immigrants to do it the right way. My grandfather came here from Mexico and did it the RIGHT way. He got his papers by going through the process. Never did he walk through the desert holding an AK-47 targeting officers. Brewer has not been the best Gov. in Arizona history but at least she is putting her foot down and saying "no more". Arizona and the U.S. are the victims here. Not ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS! Key word is ILLEGAL. I'm tired of seeing drug dealing neighbors shooting ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS for raiding their house for drugs and money. Do it the RIGHT way and get a job! Obama wants to see this country turn on each other. It's part of his plan. Brewer asked oBUMa for help from the national guard and he declined. This is what he gets.

    April 30, 2010 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
  11. wtf

    I fail to see how the new law would have stopped this. Are you saying if the deputy had approached the man and asked for his papers, he would have dropped the gun and complied? Cause if so, I've got some swamp land I been looking to get rid of....any takers?

    April 30, 2010 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Saul

    the law hasnt gone into effect but its funny how mexico is already warning mexicnas to stay away from AZ or ot make sure they keep there papers on them, most likely cause they dont want the illegals sent back to them once they get caught

    April 30, 2010 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
  13. We are all the same

    What makes the Deputy say it was an illegal immigrant did he see that he had no papers or license well apparenly not because he got shot so how does he know? For all he and we know it could be a any Hispanic who is a citizen who is involved in gangs or violence. Also not all illegal immigrants are involved in drug smuggling and gangs just a percent of them just like any caucasian who is a citizen here in the good old U.S.A. the stupid SB1070 giving unneccessary power to police officer gives less confidence to the illegal community to report crimes such as murders, selling of drugs and weapons, rapes. This law is just scaring the community and their families that isn't doing any good to our immigration problem just making it messier and uglier.

    April 30, 2010 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
  14. John N Florida

    It's time to start flying armed drones over Arizona. Have the officer call for 'cover' before the stop. If gunfire takes place, the Predator takes out the vehicle just like in Afghanistan.
    You wanna play rough....we can do it too.

    April 30, 2010 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Kay

    Anyone commenting here that this must have been a native born gangbaner is definitely not from Arizona. this is in the middle of the desert in the middle of nowhere. No gang member would be wandering around smuggling country. And, yes, some crossing the border including the coyotes and drug runners do carry AK-47s and more.

    April 30, 2010 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
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